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Detroit man sues after 42 years of wrongful imprisonment

Image of a prison fence
Shayan Sanyal/flickr

A Detroit man who spent decades in prison for murder because of a single hair is seeking millions of dollars now that his conviction has been thrown out.


Ledura Watkins was released in June after prosecutors said hair evidence in the 1970s was flawed based on current FBI standards. He filed a lawsuit Thursday seeking $168 million, including $84 million for each of his nearly 42 years behind bars.

Watkins was convicted of first-degree murder in the 1975 shooting death of a teacher during a robbery. The 61-year-old Watkins is suing police and a prosecutor who worked the case decades ago.

Police lab analysts tied him to the crime based on a single hair found at the scene. Western Michigan University-Cooley Law School said it was a "subjective opinion."


The Associated Press is an independent global news organization dedicated to factual reporting.