The Latest: Prosecutor defends case after man is freed

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The Latest on the case of a man who entered prison as a teenager in 2008 for killings that a hit man says he committed (all times local):

11:25 a.m.

A Michigan prosecutor is defending how her office handled the case against a young man who spent eight years in prison before his guilty pleas in four fatal shootings at age 14 were thrown out.

Wayne County prosecutor Kym Worthy said during a news conference Thursday that her staff wasn't "running rogue" and trying to railroad Davontae Sanford. She said she acted swiftly after state police found problems with the Detroit police investigation in the 2007 killings.

Sanford was 15 when he pleaded guilty and was imprisoned in 2008. Sanford walked out of prison Wednesday, after a judge erased the guilty pleas at Worthy's request.

A hit man, Vincent Smothers, says he committed the so-called Runyon Street murders and was willing to testify to help clear Sanford. Worthy says Smothers has twice refused to testify in court.


5:45 a.m.

A Michigan prosecutor is expected to explain her decision to drop charges against a young man who was in prison for eight years after pleading guilty to killing four people in a drug den.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy has scheduled a press conference for Thursday morning in Detroit.

Davontae Sanford, who entered prison as a teenager in 2008, stepped out into sunshine and freedom Wednesday in Ionia, eight years after a professional hit man told authorities he was responsible for the slayings.

Sanford told reporters in Detroit he wants to try to "put this behind me and move on with my life" and take "one day at a time, one step at a time."

The hit man's first acknowledgement that he was involved came only about two weeks after Sanford was sent away.