DAILYKENN.com -- The black male convicted of murdering two white young adults during a store robbery may get a new trial after his conviction was overturned.
Lavere Bryant was convicted of murdering two 20-year-old employees — Joseph Orlando and Brenna Machus — at a Family Dollar Store in Dearborn, Michigan.
The Michigan Appeals Court ruled that the convict will get a new trial because testimony was heard that wasn’t relevant to the charges against him.
The new trial is contingent upon a ruling from the state supreme court.
Bryant had been sentenced to life without parole for the murders.
During the original trial in 2014, Orlando's stepmother testified:
“You took so much from so many people when you took them away,” said Shannon Miller, Orlando’s stepmother. “When you murdered Joey, when you killed him like he was nothing — let me tell you something, he was someone.”
Miller went on to say she wishes nothing but the worst for Bryant.
“I hope you feel the fear and torture you put them through, every moment of every single day as long as you rot in prison for eternity, and when you rot in hell,” she said.
Miller was not given the national attention as was afforded the mother of Trayvon Martin.
The Michigan appeals court has overturned murder convictions and ordered a new trial for a man accused of killing two people who worked at a Family Dollar store in Dearborn.
The court says Lavere Bryant’s trial was spoiled by testimony that wasn’t relevant to the charges against him. He was accused of killing Joseph Orlando and Brenna Machus, both 20, who worked at the store.
Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Qiana Lillard sentenced Bryant, now 37, in December 2014 to spend the rest of his life behind bars without the possibility of parole in the slayings
Orlando’s body was found in the store in July 2013 while Machus’ body was found nearby in a wooded area. Bryant was a former co-worker.
During the trial, jurors heard about Bryant’s prior convictions, his sex offender status and viewing of pornography. The appeals court says the testimony was “highly distracting” and not related to the slayings.
The 3-0 decision was released Wednesday.
The prosecutor’s office will seek an appeal from the Michigan Supreme Court.
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