The Michigan Supreme Court made a directive to the state Court of Appeals review the conviction of a man in a murder-for-hire case. This man was convicted despite another man confessing to the killing as a hit man. The 40-year-old man was convicted of first-degree murder back in 2005. This decision comes on the heels of a 2018 evidentiary hearing where the person purporting to be the true killer gave recorded testimony that he committed the murder, not the man who was convicted.
Original Case Details
Thelonious Searcy was convicted for the 2004 murder of Jamal Segers back in 2005. Vincent Smothers, who is in prison after confessing to eight different murders, came forward in multiple affidavits that he killed Segers. During an evidentiary hearing in 2018, Smothers made this same confession in court. Smothers testified that the killing happened close to Coleman A. Young Municipal Airport in Detroit. Smothers intended to go to what was called the “Black Party,” which was a fundraiser for the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund. This fundraiser was being held inside the airport. Smothers said that the party was attended by multiple drug dealers. On the way to the fundraiser, Smothers saw Segers in congested traffic and decided that was his opportunity to rob him. He parked his car at a gas station and Smothers, along with another man walked towards Segers’ car and shot up the back of the car, killing Segers and another man inside the car. While Smothers and his partner tried to escape, an unmarked police car pulled up. A subsequent crash and shootout happened. But Smothers and his partner escaped from the police on that day.