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Criminal Justice & Legal System

Records missing from '76 homicide; Michigan prisoner seeks release

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Michigan Dept of Corrections
Charles Lewis

DETROIT (AP) - Workers have been paid overtime to search for a missing court file as a man seeks a new sentence in the death of an off-duty Detroit police officer.

  For nearly 40 years, Charles Lewis has been serving a no-parole sentence for the death of Gerald Swyitkowski. But Lewis was 17 at the time of the shooting and now is entitled to a hearing to determine if he'll be eligible for parole.

  But Wayne County authorities can't find the court file from the 1976 case. Lewis' attorney, Valerie Newman, says it's "impossible" to represent him without the records.

  Court official David Baxter tells MLive.com that six people searched a storage building on Oct. 22. They'll try again on Nov. 7.

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