Two brothers have been serving a life sentence in prison for a murder committed in 1987 of a drug dealer from Detroit. Those brothers will now receive a new trial because of a post published on Facebook. The brothers, Thomas and Raymond Highers had their conviction overturned but have yet to be freed from prison.
On Monday, it was decided by a judge that the brothers, both of whom are 46-years-old, will have to wait until August 15 before announcing if they will be released from prison. The brothers have been in prison for 24 years. The judge will review documents that detail the behavior of the brothers as inmates and then rule on August 15.
For 24 years, the brothers have repeatedly said that they did not shoot Robert Karey at his home’s backdoor. Karey was a marijuana dealer. The post on Facebook, which dates back to 2009, was made by a woman who said she lamented that the brothers would be spending the rest of their lives in prison. The post began a chain reaction on Facebook that forced a group of friends to step forward. Those people said that they were at Karey’s home when he was shot. The post was originated by Mary Evans.
Two witnesses to the shooting told a court last week that they saw Karey get shot by two black men. This is a vital testament because the brothers are white. During the court hearing last week, eight witnesses testified along with these two. When the judge at the hearing said he would delay the release of the brothers from prison, family members broke down into tears and dismay.
“You want them to come home. I want to see them sitting in the passenger seat of my car,” Scott Highers, a young brother, said. “Another second of them sitting here [in jail] is too long.”
The brothers have racked up dozens of citations for misconduct while in prison. Those citations are for substance abuse, battery and assault. The two brothers missed the funeral of their mother while in prison and the funeral of Thomas’ daughter. Thomas’ daughter passed away as a teen. Both brothers have missed out on raising their children for the past 24 years.
“It’s really hard. It’s something that I’ve prayed for since I was a little girl and it’s gonna happen, but it’s hard to wait this long knowing that they just keep going back and going back,” Raeanne Highers, the niece of the brothers, said. “Something has to be done.”