Alex Perry, Jr.
Wrongfully Convicted: February 22, 2011
Freed: April 5, 2021
Late one evening in October 2010, a woman was held up at gunpoint by two men, who took her purse (which contained her gun) and her car keys, and drove off in her car. The woman described the taller robber as 6’2” tall, and the shorter one as about 5’10”.
A week later, the victim, who worked at the food court at the Motor City Casino, saw Alex Perry, Jr., order some food. The victim told the police she believed Perry was one of the men who had robbed her a week earlier. Perry was arrested but maintained his innocence. The police asked Perry who he was with the week before, and he said he was with his cousin, Damatrice Vann.
Perry and Vann were convicted of armed robbery and carjacking based entirely on the victim’s testimony even though both Perry and Vann were much shorter (5’10” and 5’7”) than the robbers she had described.
Years later, Vann’s family discovered that the Detroit police had recovered the victim’s stolen gun while raiding a drug house in Detroit before Vann and Perry were convicted. The man found with the victim’s gun was 6’2” tall, just as the victim had described him the night of the robbery
The Michigan Innocence Clinic first took on Vann’s case and passed it on to pro bono counsel, who obtained a new trial for Vann in 2018. The Clinic then took on Perry’s case. In early 2021, Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald stipulated that Perry should receive a new trial. Perry was unable to make bail as he waited for that new trial to begin. Faced with the prospect of waiting months in jail, he elected to accept an offer from the prosecution to plead guilty to lesser charges in exchange for an immediate release. Perry was released on April 5, 2021.