Published on March 29th, 2013 | by Daniel R. Perlman0
Ex-Detroit homicide detective lied to court in murder case, prosecutor says
Ex-Detroit Police Officer William Rice, one-time head of the Homicide Division, is accused of lying in under oath in court during the appeal of a teen’s murder case.
Davontae Sanford, blind in his right eye and developmentally disabled, now 20, is locked up in the Ionia Correctional Facility.
Sanford was 14 in 2007 when Detroit homicide detectives accused him of a quadruple killing.
He pleaded guilty to four counts of second-degree murder and possession of a firearm in 2008.
After his sentencing, another convicted killer claimed responsibility for the crimes and the teen, through his attorneys filed a motion to withdraw the guilty plea in May of 2009 with an alibi defense, according to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office.
The case was sent back to Wayne County Circuit Judge Brian Sullivan, who held an evidentiary hearing in October of that year.
Rice – who has since charged with 16 pending unrelated crimes including operating a criminal enterprise, drug dealing, drug possession and mortgage fraud – took the stand and according to prosecutors lied under oath.
The Detroit Free Press reports that Rice lied while testifying as a defense alibi witness during an appellate court evidentiary hearing, according to the prosecutor’s office.
Sanford’s great-aunt, Cheryl Sanford, is Rice’s longtime girlfriend and co-defendant in his criminal enterprise case.
Prosecutor Kym Worthy on Tuesday charged Rice with two counts of perjury stemming from his testimony.
Sandord’s judge, nearly three years later in February of 2012, denied the motion to withdraw the teen’s guilty plea. The case is currently before the state Court of Appeals.
Sandford’s earliest release date is 2046, according to the Michigan Department of Corrections inmate website.
“Sanford was a 14- year-old juvenile at the time he was charged as an adult in the September 17, 2007, homicides of four people that occurred in the 19700 block of Runyon Street in Detroit,” the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement Tuesday. “On March 18, 2008, during the second day of a bench trial held before Judge Brian Sullivan the defendant pleaded guilty…”
Sanford signed off on a statement admitting guilt to the crimes and submitted a guilty plea. He was sentenced to between 37 and 90 years in prison.
Rice is scheduled to be arraigned on the perjury charges Wednesday at 1 p.m.
At 9 a.m. Thursday, District Judge William McConico is scheduled to rule on whether Rice will face Circuit Court charges in the other case against him.
Source: mlive.com “Ex-Detroit homicide detective lied to court in murder case, prosecutor says,” March 27, 2013.