Eddie Khalil is finally free after serving seven and a half years for a murder he did not commit. The murder happened on September 15, 2011, at an apartment building co-owned by Khalil. Someone shot a 51-year-old man while he allegedly tried to steal scrap metal.
After the shooting, police questioned both Khalil and his business partner, as well as a security guard for the building. The police eventually arrested Khalil, who was tried convicted on second-degree murder charges. The judge sentenced him to 14 to 25 years in prison.
The Wayne County Conviction Integrity Unit saves the day
Khalil says he started to feel hopeless after his conviction and losses on appeal, but he held onto the truth. At his trial, a DEA cell phone expert gave evidence that Khalil’s cell phone pinged off a tower eight miles away from the apartment building at the time of the shooting. The jury convicted Khalil anyway.
The Wayne County Conviction Integrity Unit (CIU) began working on Khalil’s case in 2019. Their work would change everything for Khalil. They uncovered a witness who would have testified that the shooter was the building security guard. The court had not allowed the witness to testify at the trial, according to Wolfgang Mueller, one of the lawyers representing Khalil.
Judge Tracey Green made the decision to dismiss both Khalil’s murder and weapons charges after she reviewed all the evidence. Khalil is finally free to return to his life after more than seven years behind bars.
Setting the record straight
This type of thing happens all too often. Founding attorney of our firm, Wolf Mueller, describes it as expectation bias. The police and prosecutors decide on a target and try to force the evidence to fit the narrative they create about that target. They ignore any evidence that does not fit the narrative. When the jury doesn’t see and hear all the evidence, they make uninformed decisions. The end result may be a wrongful conviction, which is a terrible miscarriage of justice by any account.
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy agrees that the county must set things right. She has acknowledged flaws in the system. According to Mueller, her support has aided the CIU in exonerating 20 people in the past two and a half years.
The state’s next step toward justice should be offering Khalil compensation for everything he lost over the past ten years. He is currently working to make that happen.