Daily Briefs

No money for man wrongly convicted and in prison for 4 years

DETROIT (AP) — A man whose murder conviction was thrown out because of weak evidence won’t get money set aside for the wrongly convicted.

James Shepherd spent nearly four years in prison until his release in 2016.

The Michigan appeals court says Shepherd doesn’t qualify for compensation because he wasn’t exonerated with “new” evidence. His conviction in Wayne County was set aside because of “insufficient evidence.”

People who have been wrongly convicted can get $50,000 for each year in prison. But the law refers to people who have been cleared based on newly discovered evidence.

Shepherd’s attorney, Wolf Mueller, acknowledges that’s what the law says. He says the law should be changed.

Mueller says someone cleared on appeal because of insufficient evidence is “no less deserving” of money than someone who finds new evidence.


Case dismissed against mom charged after she took daughter’s phone

HUDSONVILLE, Mich. (AP) — Charges have been dismissed against a western Michigan woman who faced possible jail time after taking away a cellphone from her 15-year-old daughter as punishment.

Jodie May of Grandville tells WOOD-TV she took away the iPhone 6 in April after the girl got in trouble in school. May says she was “just being a mom, a concerned parent,” but she was arrested on a misdemeanor larceny charge after her ex-husband filed a complaint saying he owned the phone.

May was immediately freed on bond, but faced up to 93 days in jail. Prosecutors say, however, they determined as her trial was to start Tuesday that the girl owned the phone.

Ottawa County Assistant Prosecutor Sarah Matwiejczyk told the judge since May is “the mother of the minor child” that “changes the case significantly.”


Michigan election law challenge will take time, judge says

PORT HURON, Mich. (AP) — A lawsuit that challenges Michigan’s restrictions on young first-time voters won’t be heard in time for the fall election.

Federal Judge Robert Cleland says the case won’t be on a fast track. He says the lawsuit is a “work of extraordinary complexity and scope.”

The lawsuit seeks to overturn rules that require some voters to cast a ballot in person when they vote for the first time. The lawsuit also targets a law that requires a voter’s registration to match a voter’s address on a driver’s license.

Lawyers for college Democrats say the restrictions prevent students from voting in college towns and discourage them from participating in elections.

The secretary of state wonders why critics waited until five weeks before the registration deadline to file the lawsuit.