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Hubert Marshall, Jr.

Other Wayne County, Michigan exonerations
In the early morning hours of December 28, 1989, gunfire erupted in the Afro Dogs Motorcycle Club in Detroit, Michigan. When the shooting stopped, 20-year-old Tyrone Clark was dead. Four others, Ryan Jackson, Marvin Woods, Marcus Price, and Tenica Bracey, were wounded and survived.

Four months later, on April 16, 1990, police arrested 22-year-old Hubert Marshall Jr. and his sister, Mary Marshall, and charged them with murder, assault with intent to do great bodily harm, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. Hubert was also charged with attempted murder.

They went to trial on July 19, 1990, in Detroit Recorder’s Court in Wayne County, Michigan.

Jackson and his friends, Clark and Woods, went to a party at the club that night. They were not members of the club and so were searched for weapons prior to entry. Price and Bracey were there as well.

There were numerous witnesses and, because the shooting occurred during a party where many participants were in various stages of intoxication, many different versions of what occurred. The club was dark. Only red lights were on. Hubert and Mary Marshall were wearing the colors of the Toros motorcycle club, according to witnesses. The Afro Dogs and Toros clubs were both founded in Detroit.

Jackson testified that he had been shot nine times, but survived. He said he saw Hubert and Mary for the first time that night. Jackson said he was dancing with a woman when he saw Hubert, who was wearing a long black leather coat, staring at him. Jackson said he asked Hubert what was wrong. Hubert said, “Nothing.”

Jackson said he called over to Clark. As Jackson did so, Hubert shoved him and then fired two shots at Jackson. Jackson said he fell down and that seven more shots were fired.

Jackson said he did not see Hubert’s gun because it was under Hubert’s coat. Jackson said he believed someone other than Hubert was firing a gun. Clark was fatally shot as he was on his way over toward Jackson. Jackson did not know who shot Clark.

Jackson testified that Mary Marshall fired shots after Hubert shot him. He said he had picked Mary out of a photographic lineup.

During cross-examination, Jackson admitted that his first description of Hubert was that he had Jheri curls, not wavy hair, and that he first identified Hubert as being near him, not that he was the shooter. He also admitted that he did not see Mary firing a gun, but believed she was shooting because there were two different gunshot sounds.

Robert Davenport testified that he was at the party and saw Hubert and Mary Marshall there. Davenport said he saw Hubert arguing with Jackson and Clark and saw Hubert push Jackson. Clark then pushed Hubert, and Hubert started shooting with a small Uzi, Davenport said.

Davenport said that after Clark and the others fell, he fell down as well, but was not shot. He said he ran out of the club and saw Hubert and Mary run to a car and flee. Davenport said he believed Mary had a nine-millimeter pistol.

Davenport said he had identified Hubert in a photographic lineup, but had not identified Mary. He said he only saw her from behind and was too far away to tell what she looked like.

Tenica Bracey testified that she was shot in the shoulder. She said she was walking to a table and saw people arguing, but had her back to them when she was shot. She was unable to identify anyone who fired shots.

Bracey’s sister, Nichole Bracey, testified that although she saw Hubert and Mary at the club, she only saw Mary firing a gun. Although Nichole said she did not get a good look at the woman firing the gun due to a flashing strobe light, she said she had no doubt it was Mary whom she saw. Nichole said that after Mary fired about six shots, a male grabbed Nichole from behind.

Randy Smith testified that he saw Hubert and Mary at the club, but that he only saw Mary firing a gun. He said she fired numerous shots all over and into the floor. Smith admitted that he had viewed a photographic lineup and initially had identified another woman instead of Mary. However, he changed his mind and identified Mary. During cross-examination, he contradicted himself, saying at one point that he did not see a gun and at another point that he did see a gun.

Woods, who testified under the name of Marvin Coffey, said he was shot in the foot, but did not see who shot him. He saw a Black male wearing black leather firing a gun near Jackson and Clark, but he could not identify him.

Price testified that after the shooting started, he saw Hubert going out the door, and that Hubert shot him. Price said the gun was a Tec-9. Price said he saw Hubert and Mary get into the car together. Price variously said that he saw Mary firing a gun, but didn’t see a gun. At one point, he said he only saw one person firing a gun.

Alisha McFarlin testified that she saw Hubert and Mary in the club. She said she heard Hubert arguing with two males, saying, “Bitch, I’ll kill you.” She said she saw Hubert with a gun, saw shots fired, and saw the two males fall to the floor. She said Mary was about eight feet away from Hubert. McFarlin said she saw a flash from a gunshot come from Mary’s coat, and saw Bracey get shot.

McFarlin said she picked Mary out of a photographic lineup and Hubert out of a live lineup.

Mary testified and denied being at the club. She said she was home with her child. Hubert did not testify.

In rebuttal, the national president of the Afro Dogs club testified that Hubert and Mary were at the club at the time of the shooting, and both were wearing the colors of the Toros motorcycle club.

On July 19, 1990, the jury convicted Hubert of second-degree murder for the death of Clark, attempted murder for the shooting of Jackson, and assault with intent to do great bodily harm to Price. He also was convicted of using a firearm in the commission of a felony. Hubert was acquitted of the shooting of Woods and Bracey. Mary was convicted of second-degree murder, assault with intent to do great bodily harm and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

Hubert was sentenced to 25 to 50 years in prison. Mary was sentenced to 15 to 25 years in prison.

While the case was on appeal, the Michigan Court of Appeals granted a defense motion to remand the case for a hearing on a claim that Hubert’s defense attorney had failed to call witnesses who would have said Hubert was not involved in the shooting. During the subsequent hearing, seven witnesses testified that had they been called to testify, they would have said that Hubert was in a different area of the club at the time of the shooting. Most agreed that Hubert was in the pool room between the pool table and the Donkey Kong video game when the shots were fired in a different room. Hubert’s wife testified that his defense attorney had been given the names of the witnesses prior to the trial.

One witness, Dennis Bryant, said he was talking to Hubert when the gunfire began and that both he and Hubert dropped to the floor. Bryant also testified that he was not drinking that night because he had to work the following morning.

Hubert testified at the hearing that just before jury selection had commenced for his trial, he had asked for a new lawyer because he felt the case had not been properly investigated. He testified that he had told the trial judge that “There’s witnesses that I wanted, you know, there’s witnesses that I wanted to be here ...I wanted him [the defense attorney] to subpoena witnesses to be here today.”

Ultimately, however, the defense motion for a new trial was denied.

On October 25, 1995, the Court of Appeals reversed that ruling, vacated Hubert’s conviction, and ordered a new trial. Mary’s conviction was affirmed.

The appeals court said that while some of the witnesses called at the post-trial hearing had credibility issues, some did not. “While one can find strengths and weaknesses in their testimony, their accounts were intrinsically no less believable or inconsistent that those of the various witnesses who testified at the trial,” the appeals court said.

“They provided consistent testimony that [Hubert’ was in a different area—the pool room—and was not the shooter,” the court ruling said. “We conclude that Hubert Marshall was denied the effective assistance of counsel…We also conclude that the defendant has shown there is a reasonable probability that the evidence would undermine confidence in the outcome of the trial, and that but for counsel’s failure to locate and present these witnesses, there is a reasonable probability that the factfinder would have had a reasonable doubt respecting guilt.” The court added that the testimony of the defense witnesses who were not called “might very well have tipped the scale.”

Two years later, on October 27, 1997, the court’s words rang true when a jury acquitted Hubert at a trial that included the testimony of the witnesses who had not been called at his first trial. Hubert was released that day.

In 2022, after the state of Michigan enacted a law allowing wrongfully convicted individuals to apply for compensation, Hubert filed a claim. In May 2023, the state of Michigan settled the claim for $225,000.

– Maurice Possley

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Posting Date: 1/9/2024
Last Updated: 1/9/2024
Most Serious Crime:Murder
Additional Convictions:Attempted Murder, Assault, Illegal Use of a Weapon
Reported Crime Date:1989
Sentence:25 to 50 years
Age at the date of reported crime:22
Contributing Factors:Mistaken Witness ID, Inadequate Legal Defense
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:No