Davontae Sanford was imprisoned at 14 for life for four homicides to which another man has confessed

Posted on July 12, 2011 by Susan Chandler

Wobbly Warrior’s blog

 Self-proclaimed “hit man” Vincent Smothers authorized his attorney to testify on Davontae Sanford’s behalf, to apprise the courts that Smothers and an accomplice had committed Detroit’s infamous Runyon Street quadruple homicide, not Davontae. Smothers had admitted to twelve homicides, but was only prosecuted for eight, so that Detroit police and prosecutors could hide their having coerced a confession out of blind-in-one-eye, developmentally disabled, 14-year-old Davontae. The judge wouldn’t allow Smother’s attorney to testify.  

Subject: False imprisonment of Davontae Sanford – Citizen Inquiry AG# 2010-0026914

The Honorable Bill Schuette, Attorney General
State of Michigan
G. Mennen Williams Building, 7th Floor
Lansing, MI 48909 

Mich. Atty. General Bill Schuette

Dear Attorney General Schuette: 

I am writing again to ask that you personally intervene in the ongoing persecution of Davontae Sanford. 

Allowing a judge to ignore a client-authorized exception to attorney/client privilege does not serve justice; it instead furthers a four-year fraud on Michigan taxpayers.

I also ask you to personally intervene in Governor Rick Snyder’s lawlessness.  For all you know, you may be the next elected public servant whom Snyder deems too inefficient to retain elected office. 

After it, it is fiscally irresponsible to incarcerate innocent young Davontae Sandford while guilty, self-proclaimed “hit man” Vincent Smothers is already behind bars and has named an accomplice who remains free to commit additional homicides. 


Susan Chandler 

Judge in Davontae Sanford hearings bars testimony from hit man’s former lawyer – Detroit Crime | Examiner.com



From: Susan Chandler
Date: January 6, 2011 2:26:50 PM EST
To: Bill Schuette <miag></miag>
Subject: False imprisonment of Davontae Sanford

Dear Attorney General Schuette: 

Doubtless you are besieged by requests for assistance.  I can only hope that you anticipated that you would be and were prepared to hit the ground running. 

Were you to search incoming emails to the Attorney General’s office, you would find my requests were ignored, and bear repeating: 

Out of curiosity, 14-year-old Davontae Sanford approached police officers at a crime scene, in his pajamas.  That naïve act cost him his freedom. 

Eddie Joe Lloyd

Blind in one eye and developmentally disabled, Davontae was the unlikeliest of suspects for a quadruple homicide.  Just as mentally challenged Eddie Joe Lloyd had been tricked into confessing to a 1984 Detroit homicide, Davontae was tricked into confessing.  Although accused decades apart, the two shared an embittered and ineffectual attorney, and both were convicted.

Mr. Lloyd was not exonerated until he had spent 17 years in prison.  He died shortly afterwards; harsh prison conditions had ruined his health (link below). 

That should not be Davontae Sanford’s fate.  The facts are much clearer in his case.

Self-proclaimed “hit man” Vincent Smothers credibly confessed to the same crimes, along with eight others.  While Smothers is serving time for the eight homicides selected by Wayne County prosecutors to spare Detroit Police embarrassment, the other killer – whom Smothers named – walks free to make Detroit’s streets bloodier. 

Davontae’s family believes that their prayers will free him.  I believe that if you are anything like your predecessor, Davontae doesn’t have a prayer, at least not for the next four years.  Please cut through Wayne County and Detroit politics to free Davontae and make sure that – on your watch – every civil servant fears framing innocents just to please the press. 

Additionally, A. G. Cox did nothing to make sure that rape kit backlogs were rapidly cleared, the likeliest reason that the perpetrator has not been found for the homicide that Mr. Lloyd was framed for. 

While it is important that invasive fish species do not enter the Great Lakes, it is my hope that you can multi-task and ethically address the corruption that keeps Davontae Sanford incarcerated and make sure that all crime scene forensic evidence is rapidly and accurately processed so that the real perpetrators can be found the first time, with no stand-ins.  There is no time to waste, Davontae has been transferred to an adult facility, and has few defenses to survive there. 

Thank you for your time, I look forward to your response.


Susan Chandler


Davontae's mother Taminko Sanford (center), family and supporters rally outside Kym Worthy's office June 29, 2010

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