Detroit Man Exonerated of Four Killings After Spending Eight Years in Prison Gives Away $25,000 in Gas to Fellow Residents

Davontae Sanford, 23, smiles as he walks out of the Bellamy Creek Correctional Facility with Valerie Newman, one of his lawyers, Wednesday, June 8, 2016, after almost 10 years behind bars for a quadruple homicide officials now believe he did not commit. Professional hitman Vincent Smothers has said he, not Sanford, killed four people in a drug house in Detroit in 2007. (Dave Wasinger/Lansing State Journal)

A man who was exonerated of four killings after spending eight years in prison helped his fellow Detroit residents this week by giving away $25,000 in gas.

Davontae Sanford pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the shootings of four people in 2007 when he was 15. He said later that he was innocent and accepted a plea deal only because he was poorly represented by an attorney.

The convictions were dropped in 2016 after officials cited police misconduct. The Detroit City Council agreed in March to pay $7.5 million to settle Sanford’s claims that police violated his rights.

Tuesday, cars lined up at a BP gas station in Detroit after Sanford funded $25,000 in free gasoline. The giveaway was available to seniors and woman. Sanford explained he wanted to help “vulnerable” groups.

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SOURCE: USA Today, Marina Pitofsky

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