Homicide

APNewsBreak: Judge orders release of Detroit man in 4 deaths

  • FILE - In this June 30, 2010 file photo, Davontae Sanford sits in a Detroit courtroom. On Tuesday, June 7, 2016, a judge ordered the release of Sanford, who is in prison after pleading guilty to killing four people at age 14, a crime for which a professional hit man later took responsibility. The Wayne County prosecutor's office agreed Davontae Sanford's second-degree murder conviction should be vacated after state police took another look at the case. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)

    FILE - In this June 30, 2010 file photo, Davontae Sanford sits in a Detroit courtroom. On Tuesday, June 7, 2016, a judge ordered the release of Sanford, who is in prison after pleading guilty to killing four people at age 14, a crime for which a professional hit man later took responsibility. The Wayne County prosecutor's office agreed Davontae Sanford's second-degree murder conviction should be vacated after state police took another look at the case. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • CORRECTS YEAR OF WHEN PHOTO WAS TAKEN TO 2007 INSTEAD OF 2017 - This Aug. 7, 2007, photo provided by the Michigan Department of Corrections shows Davontae Sanford. A judge on Tuesday, June 7, 2016, ordered the release of Sanford who is in prison after pleading guilty to killing four people at age 14, a crime for which a professional hit man later took responsibility.  (Michigan Department of Corrections via AP)

    CORRECTS YEAR OF WHEN PHOTO WAS TAKEN TO 2007 INSTEAD OF 2017 - This Aug. 7, 2007, photo provided by the Michigan Department of Corrections shows Davontae Sanford. A judge on Tuesday, June 7, 2016, ordered the release of Sanford who is in prison after pleading guilty to killing four people at age 14, a crime for which a professional hit man later took responsibility. (Michigan Department of Corrections via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this June 30, 2010 file photo, Davontae Sanford sits in a Detroit courtroom. On Tuesday, June 7, 2016, a judge ordered the release of Sanford, who is in prison after pleading guilty to killing four people at age 14, a crime for which a professional hit man later took responsibility. The Wayne County prosecutor's office agreed Davontae Sanford's second-degree murder conviction should be vacated after state police took another look at the case. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)

    FILE - In this June 30, 2010 file photo, Davontae Sanford sits in a Detroit courtroom. On Tuesday, June 7, 2016, a judge ordered the release of Sanford, who is in prison after pleading guilty to killing four people at age 14, a crime for which a professional hit man later took responsibility. The Wayne County prosecutor's office agreed Davontae Sanford's second-degree murder conviction should be vacated after state police took another look at the case. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)  (The Associated Press)

A judge has ordered the release of a young Detroit man who is in prison after pleading guilty to killing four people at age 14, a crime for which a professional hit man later took responsibility.

The prosecutor's office agreed Davontae Sanford's second-degree murder conviction should be vacated after state police re-examined the case.

Judge Brian Sullivan tells The Associated Press he signed the order Tuesday and Sanford is expected to be released on bond.

Sanford, now 23, is in prison for the 2007 fatal shootings of four people at a Detroit drug den. He pleaded guilty at age 15. He's been trying to undo that plea for years, especially after hit man Vincent Smothers, confessed.

Smothers insists Sanford had no role.

Sanford's family says he confessed to please police.