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Michigan prosecutor admits police arrested the wrong man

Cases of mistaken identity in law enforcement may seem unlikely, especially in the era of DNA evidence, but they do happen. In a recent case from here in Michigan, a man was held in jail for months before authorities realized that they had mixed him up with his own brother.

In January, police arrested the man on suspicion of participating in a series of burglaries in April 2014. They claimed they had video evidence that the man was attempting to pawn items and cash in coins taken in the thefts. They also tried to tie him to a white pickup truck allegedly connected to the burglaries.

The man remained behind bars until the country prosecutor saw him in person for the first time in March. At that point, the prosecutor realized that the suspect was too small to be the larger man he had seen in surveillance video, cashing in stolen coins at a Walmart.

Authorities now believe the suspect’s brother used the suspect’s name and identification. A second man was seen on the Walmart video, but the prosecutor said he had no evidence that the suspect was that man. Another man has been charged in connection with the burglaries, and is facing decades in prison if convicted. The case is still under investigation.

With a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney, a person wrongfully arrested and held due to mistaken identity may not have to spend months in jail, hoping that the authorities realize their mistake. This would cause huge disruption to nearly anyone. For instance, you could lose your job and home while behind bars.

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