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William Lee

Other Michigan No Crime Cases
In December, 2006, in Wayne County, Michigan, 17 year-old William Lee was arrested on suspicion of rape and felonious assault against his roommates, 36-year-old William Wells and 20-year-old Brandi Coleman.

Wells claimed that he had allowed Lee to move into his residence as long as he followed the "house rules." Wells said that on December 17, 2006, Lee assaulted him with a knife and tied him up during an argument over Lee's refusal to go to church as required by the house rules. Coleman claimed that Lee raped her after he tied up Wells.

Lee went to trial in Wayne County Circuit Court in September 2007. Wells and Coleman both testified that after an argument between Lee and Wells concerning Lee’s church attendance, Lee tied up Wells with a phone cord and forced Wells to watch as he raped Coleman.

Lee testified that while a scuffle had indeed erupted, no rape had occurred, and that the precipitating argument was a result of Lee’s rejection of Wells’s sexual advances rather than Lee’s failure to attend church.

On September 19, 2007, the jury convicted Lee of felonious assault of Wells and two counts of first degree rape of Coleman. He was sentenced to 15 to 30 years in prison.
 
After trial, the defense discovered that prosecutors had withheld critical exculpatory evidence from the defense.  The prosecution had claimed that there was insufficient biological material from the rape kit for DNA testing, but a lab report that the prosecution failed to disclose indicated there was sufficient evidence.

Lee’s defense counsel obtained post-conviction DNA testing which revealed that the semen in the rape kit taken from Brandi Coleman was from William Wells, the supposed assault victim, and not from Lee.

On June 22, 2010, Wayne County Circuit Judge Vonda Evans vacated Lee's convictions and granted him a new trial. On November 30, 2010, a jury acquitted Lee.
 
Charles Armbrust
 

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Posting Date:  Before June 2012
State:Michigan
County:Wayne
Most Serious Crime:Sexual Assault
Additional Convictions:Assault
Reported Crime Date:2006
Convicted:2007
Exonerated:2010
Sentence:15 to 30 years
Race:Black
Sex:Male
Age at the date of crime:17
Contributing Factors:Perjury or False Accusation, Official Misconduct
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:Yes*