Lynie Gaines

On March 9, 1990, Lynie Gaines was arrested in Wayne County Michigan on a charge of selling a kilogram of cocaine to an undercover police officer.

Gaines claimed he had been set up, but agreed to plead guilty with the condition that he be allowed a hearing to present evidence that he had been entrapped by Christopher Keyes, a police informant. He was sentenced to 10 to 30 years in prison.

At the hearing, evidence was presented that Keyes gave $10,000 to Gaines to buy narcotics, but Gaines pocketed the money instead. Angry at the loss, Keyes reached out to police to set up a drug sale involving Gaines, according to the testimony.

When Gaines balked at doing a drug deal, Keyes began making threatening telephone calls to Delores Cohens, the mother of Gaines’s son. When the calls began, Cohens told Gaines, who then agreed to make the drug deal to protect Cohens and his child.

So Gaines met with a third party—actually an undercover officer—and purchased the cocaine. He was then arrested and charged with possession of narcotics with intent to distribute.

Following the hearing, Gaines sought to withdraw his guilty plea. The Michigan Court of Appeals granted the motion. The state’s petition to appeal was denied by the Michigan Supreme Court in 1997.
 
Gaines was released on April 22, 1997 and the charges were dismissed.
 
– Maurice Possley

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State:Michigan
County:Wayne
Most Serious Crime:Drug Possession or Sale
Additional Convictions:
Reported Crime Date:1990
Convicted:1990
Exonerated:1997
Sentence:10 to 30 years
Race:Black
Sex:Male
Age:36
Contributing Factors:False Confession, Perjury or False Accusation
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:No