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AG Nessel: The Wrongful Murder Convictions Of George, Melvin DeJesus Have Been Vacated

(CBS DETROIT) - Attorney General Dana Nessel announced that the convictions of George DeJesus and Melvin DeJesus have been vacated.

This announcement comes after a collaboration between the Michigan Department of Attorney General's (DAG) Conviction Integrity Unit (CIU), the Oakland County Prosecutor's Office, the Oakland County Sheriff's Office, the Cooley Law School Innocence Project, and the University of Michigan Innocence Clinic.

The two brothers were wrongfully convicted of felony firearm and murder in 1997.

During the investigation, new evidence was found and exonerates them after 25 years in prison.

On Tuesday morning the convictions were set aside by Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Martha D. Anderson via a Zoom hearing.

These cases are the third and fourth wrongful convictions overturned.

The Oakland County Sheriff's Office and the Oakland County Prosecutor's Office collaborated with the CIU to provide essential information and assist in the submission of evidence for DNA testing.

"I appreciate the tireless work the unit put in to secure these exonerations for the DeJesus brothers," Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said. "This day is another source of great pride for our Conviction Integrity Unit, which was established in 2019 to ensure those convicted of state crimes are in fact guilty. I look forward to our continued collaboration with the Cooley Innocence Project and University of Michigan Innocence Clinic in our collective pursuit of providing justice to those wrongfully imprisoned."

Officials reported that on July 11, 1995, a woman's body was found in her home in Pontiac, Michigan. She was found nude in her basement with a pillowcase over her head and wires binding her neck, wrists, and ankles.

Brandon Gohagen was linked through DNA matching and confessed to sexually assaulting the woman.

He claimed Melvin forced him to sexually assault the victim and then both of the DeJesus brothers bound the victim and beat her to death.

The brothers were convicted by a jury in 1997.

in 2017 Gohagen was convicted of a different 1994 crime where he acted alone, and investigation found that there were 12 other women who were abused by him.

The CIU also found other evidence that impeached Gohagen's credibility, and the CIU spoke to a witness who said that Gohagen confessed to implicating the brothers in exchange for a deal.

According to the CIU, they located witness statements made within weeks of the crime that corroborated the brothers' alibis the night of the 1995 murder.

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