1. Christine Moellering
    Posted October 23, 2012 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

    Thank you. As I learn more I will post updates. I’m trying to find out more information but had a busy day with broken down cars.

  2. Erika
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 3:54 am | Permalink

    My mom forwarded the New Yorker article to her former co-workers at the Michigan Appellate Assigned Counsel. Not sure if there is anything that they can do to help at this point, but the more eyes on this case, the better.

  3. anon
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    This kind of post is absolutely necessary. Thank you, Mark.

  4. Meta
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    The Judge overseeing his last appeal was Brian Sullivan.

    From the Huffington Post:

    Wayne County Judge Brian Sullivan noted in his ruling that a gun directly linked to the killings was found at a home used by a Smothers ally and said some portions of Smothers’ statement “do reflect a detailed depiction of the scene of the crime and a plausible version of what happened.”

    Nonetheless, the judge said, “Smothers’ statement does not automatically exonerate” Sanford, who is now 19…

    The prosecutor’s office has consistently fought to uphold the conviction, although it concedes Smothers probably had a role. He never has been charged.

    “There was insufficient evidence to support the withdrawal of Sanford’s guilty plea that took place while the trial was in progress. We are very pleased with Judge Sullivan’s decision denying his motion,” spokeswoman Maria Miller said Tuesday.

    McGinnis said an appeal is planned.

    “It’s a shame that an innocent kid has to stay in prison longer,” she said. “It’s a shame that Judge Sullivan would not permit testimony from the true perpetrator who wants to exonerate an innocent person.”

    The judge cited other issues in his 30-page decision. He said a retired Detroit homicide investigator’s insistence that he was with Sanford at the time of the killings was false, based on cellphone records. William Rice knew the boy because he was in a relationship with Sanford’s aunt.

    “Taken as a whole, such discrepancies do not lead to a conclusion that the defendant is innocent, under the clear and convincing evidence standard,” Sullivan said.

    Read more:

  5. Edward
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    Cops just want to close cases in Detroit, where most murders go unsolved. I don’t know the recent data, but, over the past five years, the closure rate has hovered around 30%, making Detroit one of the easier places in the nation to get away with murder.

  6. roots
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    I think I might know this boy. Just realized – didn’t read the earlier stories or posts. I need to find out if he attended Burt Elementary.

  7. JC
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    Does someone know Davontae’s MDOC number?

  8. Mr. X
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    According to Michigan’s Offender Tracking Information System (OTIS), his MDOC number is: 684070

    Here’s his page:

  9. Oliva
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    Thank you, Mark and Christine–and everyone who’s been working for justice in this case–and thanks, Mr. X, for the MDOC #.

  10. Site Admin
    Posted October 24, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    His MDOC number is being added to the post. Thanks.

  11. Taminko Sanford
    Posted January 19, 2013 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    @ roots yes he did attended burt elementary,and to every body else thank u for your support,god bless you all please keep this family in your prayer,”the davontae sanford story”will be out on dvd’s september 17,2013 directed by flip u can go on my fb pg or flip to watch the previews,thank u,god bless you all

  12. Taminko Sanford
    Posted January 31, 2013 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    Their are no updates in davontae case as of now,if you would like to write -Davontae Sanford-684070 -Ionia Maxmium Correcetional Fac-1576 W.Blue water Highway-Ionia,Mi 48846,Thank u to all the supporters,god bless you all,will updated on any changes

  13. Robert
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    Taminko, how is Davontae’s spirit holding up?

  14. Taminko Sanford
    Posted March 12, 2013 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    I talked to him last Wednesday,he spirit is get weary,hes getting tired of fighting and beening their,he feels like he never get out and no body doing nothing,no one care’s,how and why are they doing this too me,i can hear the pain in his voice,and the weakness,but I will countinue to pray and fight for him,god is good Robert,thank u for your support,god bless u

  15. Robert
    Posted March 12, 2013 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    Taminko, please tell Davontae about those of us out here who have not forgotten about him.

  16. Taminko Sanford
    Posted March 15, 2013 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    I did Robert when I wrote him Monday,i believe it just hard for him because hes locked up and don’t know like I know about his awesome god-sent supporters,that why I be encouraging everyone to write him when they are feel to write to keep his spirits up if nothing else,and thanks again Robert for your awesome support and also a special heart warmed thank u to all my son davontae supporters,god bless u all

  17. Robert
    Posted March 23, 2013 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    Christine Moellering, do you have any updates for us? Have you learned anything interesting about the case?

  18. Roberto Guzman
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    Hello, everyone: I am intimiately familiar with the legal and factual issues in Davontae’s case and have been in close contact with Taminko and his family, lending moral support for freeing him since the day I learned of the horrific tragedies in his case. This child was set up, plain and simple. DPD, after realizing they duped him into confessing to the crimes he did not commit, have gone to great lengths at every twist and turn to conceal their wrongdoing from the moment he happened on the scene the night of the murders. Davontae, a curious onlooker who walked up to the scene, was taken into custody by a rogue cop who thought his behavior in being inquisitive was criminal. I have a full copy of his videotaped interrogation and it is not a confession. It is the cop narrating the events to him and leadingly telling him what to answer in a yes or no fashion. That is not a confession. Smothers, the professed hitman who committed the murders, on the other hand, confessed with precise details and unrepentently to the crimes and — is willing to take the stand in Davontae’s defense and CONFESS to the murders. Ask yourselves, what does Smother have to gain by confessing in open court to four murders, other than a mandatory life with no parole sentence? The prosecutor is fighting like mad to keep that from happening. If she was so convinced that Davontae’s conviction rests on solid and factual legal grounds, she’d let Smothers testify and impeach his testimony. She refuses for one simple reason: She knows he is innocent and she’d rather he rot in prison for the rest of her life to save herself (and possibly her career) from a political disaster. Call Kym Worthy and remind her to fulfill her duty: to set the innocent free when justice so requires and that is what the FACTS in Davontae’s case requires! God is going to punish Kym Worthy very dearly. Verily so I say that! She is evil; she has no morals.

  19. Roberto Guzman
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    As an update, we are waiting for oral argument at the Michigan Court of Appeals. The issue on appeal concerns the defense’s motion to withdraw Davontae’s ill-advised plea, on the basis of newly-discovered evidence, that being Vincent Smother’s unadulterated confession to the crimes and his willingness to testify and confess on the witness stand. The issues will be hotly argued on appeal, as you can imagine. We intend to hold a protest after oral argument and shout the assistant prosecutor down outside the courthouse doors in an act of civil disobedience.

  20. anon
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    muchas gracias, roberto. what kind of help can we offer you, if any?

  21. Roberto Guzman
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

    Maybe get bond money for us perhaps if we’re arrested for civil disobedience (smile). Hopefully it will not come to that, but I am willing to risk it to make an impactful message of the tremendous constitutional violations in the case. An innocence kid was snatched from his mother’s embrace and carried away by a rogue cop and an overzealous prosecutor who give not a damn moment’s worth about innocence, Anon. I am a paralegal with the People’s Task Force to Free the Wrongfully Convicted, a Detroit-based organization working to free wrongfully convicted people like Davontae. He has counsel, however, but the legal and factual issues in his case are extremely important to us as court watchers. What can you do to help? The pressure should be put on the prosecutor’s office. Right now Davontae has capable counsel and there is not much to do until we see what the Michigan Court of Appeals decides. However, the prosecutor, Kym Worthy, has the sole power to stop the appeals and file what is called a ONE PAGE Confession of Error under our local rules. The courts generally grant a prosecutor’s request to nolle prosequi a case when they confess error. Call her and tell her, do the right thing, and confess error. Set Davontae free; for you know he is innocent! She can stop the appeals; let no one say otherwise. Remind her that a prosecutor’s duty is to free the innocent as well as convict the guilty. Remind her too that the victims’ families did not get justice by wrongfully convicting Davontae of those murders and the real killer, Smothers’ accomplice, is still out here able and likely killing again. Where is the justice in that, Anon? We will be holding a protest soon in front of her daughter’s school to be more impactful of our message. Her daughter will be reminded that mommy is an evil woman!

  22. Posted August 31, 2013 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    I believe whoever did this is going to pay the hitman or the kid . Life isn’t cheaply rubbed away and people be come more concern with how many people did what my family is devastated for what happen to my family member in that house I think they both had a hand in this and they both should be giving the same mercy they gave them four people in that house NONE!

  23. kojic
    Posted September 3, 2013 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Does anyone know what Sanford did to be put in solitary confinement?

  24. Warrior
    Posted April 29, 2014 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    I googled this because I read an article today that stated that Davontae lost his bid with the Supreme Court to withdraw his guilty plee. I wanted to read more on the case. It’s 2014 and the poor man still sits in prison. This is just truly heartbreaking. I hope things move forward and quickly. What a miscarriage of justice! Shame on the prosecution office for giving their hand to help right this wrong.

  25. Posted June 7, 2016 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    Judge Brian Sullivan has signed the order. DAVONTAE is going FREE TODAY!!!

    Thank you for support, Mark, and for bringing so much attention to this sickening injustice.


  26. Nobody
    Posted June 8, 2016 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    That is how the wonderful system work in this country of hours. You have cops that pressure people so much that they confess to a crime they did not commit, and once they get that confession, it’s done with. They do not care if the person is innocent or guilty, they just wanted that confession. Which should be against the law. They are cops, and they need to figure it out the right way instead of bullying suspects into confessing to crimes they did not commit. Glad this guy got some justice, but he definitely compensated for the time he spent locked up. I know I would be furious. n

4 Trackbacks

  1. […] the way, is convicted hit man Vincent Smothers, who has told authorities on several occasions that he’s the one who actually killed the four people found in the house on Runyon Street. But yet, in spite of the overwhelming evidence, Davontae continues to sit in […]

  2. […] The footage, which can be seen below, would be disturbing even if I didn’t know the young man being held down by half a dozen officers. But, according to a message I received earlier this evening, I do know the man. Or at least I know of him. He’s someone we’ve been talking about here over the past several years, since he was arrested the age of 14 for the murder of four people in a Detroit drug house. His name is Davontae Sanford. […]

  3. […] Another good link: http://markmaynard.com/2012/10/davont… […]

  4. […] are our earlier posts on the Davontae Sanford case: The strange case of Davontae Sanford, Davontae Sanford, in prison for murders he almost certainly didn’t commit, finally gets national e…, Making the front page of Reddit with my post on Davontae Sanford, Disturbing video surfaces of […]

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