Court rules against young man in 4 Detroit deaths


DETROIT  — The Michigan Supreme Court says a young Detroit man can’t withdraw his guilty plea to four murders that occurred when he was 14.

It’s a blow to Davontae Sanford, who has been trying to undo his guilty plea for more than five years. The Supreme Court order last week doesn’t end the case. But appellate lawyer Jonathan Sacks says an effort to clear Sanford will have to start from scratch.

Sanford is in prison for the deaths of four people in 2007. But weeks after Sanford’s guilty plea, a hit man took responsibility for the Runyon Street homicides.

Vincent Smothers insists Sanford had no role. Smothers is in prison for eight other killings and is willing to testify for Sanford.

Prosecutors continue to stick with Sanford’s conviction. He’s now 21.