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Kym Worthy

Kym Worthy
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy says her office is still accepting donations to fund the investigation and prosecution of sexual assaults linked to a backlog of thousands of untested rape kits.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Ten years ago this month, a Wayne County assistant prosecutor found more than 11,000 untested rape kits in an abandoned evidence warehouse.

On Wednesday, prosecutor Kym Worthy celebrated the decade-long effort that followed to test those kits, investigate cases, and prosecute offenders.

All the kits have now been tested, thanks to the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative, and a multitude of partners that helped fund and facilitate that process.

Worthy’s office has now investigated and closed more than 3,000 cases, winning 197 convictions so far. Another 588 cases are still either being investigated, or have yet to be tackled.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

On Friday night, prosecutors tried to explain to frustrated Flint residents why they dropped all the remaining criminal charges in the Flint water crisis investigation.  

Two weeks ago, Solicitor General Fadwa Hammoud announced the state was dropping charges against eight current and former government officials linked to Flint’s water crisis. Seven others had previously reached plea deals.   

At Friday night’s town hall meeting in Flint, resident Claire McClinton described hearing that the charges were being dropped “like being hit in the back of the head with a two by four.” 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Attorneys say progress is being made toward potentially settling a class action lawsuit against the state in the Flint water crisis.

The lawsuit is seeking compensation for a variety of issues, including health problems and property damage related to the switch in the city’s water source back in 2014.  

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Prosecutors heading up the Flint water crisis criminal investigation will meet with city residents this week.

Friday’s town hall meeting will give residents a chance to better understand why prosecutors decided to drop charges against the remaining defendants in the water crisis probe.

Protestor holding up a sign that says "Safe Water" at a Flint Water Crisis protest
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

After three years, the criminal probe into the Flint water crisis is back to square one.

The Flint Water Crisis prosecution team, working under the aegis of Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, has dismissed without prejudice all pending criminal cases brought by the former Office of Special Counsel.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The state official heading the Flint water criminal probe insists they are not “starting over," even as the prosecution team is getting revamped.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy is being brought in to advise the Flint water prosecution team. Todd Flood, who has been leading the investigation, and others who’ve been with the probe since the beginning are being reassigned to new roles on the prosecution team.

Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is bringing in a different prosecutor to evaluate how the Flint water crisis investigation is going.

Nessel has asked Wayne County prosecutor Kym Worthy to do “an independent evaluation of the Flint Water criminal cases.”

Kym Worthy (file photo).
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

The last of over 11,300 rape kits discovered in a Detroit police facility are currently being processed by the Wayne County Prosecutor’s office.

614 kits remain, and they were shipped to Bode Cellmark Forensics and Sorenson Forensics labs for testing before they are reviewed by the Michigan State Police lab.

Michigan State Police patrol vehicle shield
Michigan State Police

Wayne County Prosector Kym Worthy has charged a former Michigan State Police trooper with 2nd degree murder. Last summer, Mark Bessner fired his Taser from a patrol car during a chase in Detroit. The Taser struck a teenager who was fleeing police on an all-terrain vehicle. The 15-year-old crashed the ATV and died. This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry discuss the case.


Michigan State Police patrol vehicle shield
Michigan State Police

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy has charged a former Michigan State Police trooper and three Detroit police officers with a slew of serious crimes, including second-degree murder.

Former MSP trooper Mark Bessner faces the murder charge. He’s also charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter.

From left to right: Special Prosecutor Jaimie Powell-Horowitz, Fair Michigan Justice Project President Dana Nessel, and Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy.
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

The Fair Michigan Justice Project (FMJP), a collaboration between the LGBTQ advocacy group Fair Michigan and the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office, began a little over a year ago, in July 2016.

It marks an important new approach to pursuing hate crimes committed against people who are LGBTQ. And it's especially noteworthy today, as this week the Michigan Civil Rights Commission declined a request to add protections for LGBTQ people to the Elliott Larsen Civil Rights Act, a law designed to prohibit discrimination in our state.

The Detroit Pistons at the Palace of Auburn Hills
Corey Seeman / creative commons http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

After nearly 30 years, the Palace of Auburn Hills has announced that it will soon close its doors for good. Palace officials this week announced that Bob Seger's September 23rd concert will be the venue's final event. This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry talk about how businesses and the city of Auburn Hills itself will fare without revenue from the former home of the Detroit Pistons.

Picture of Collin Rose
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Charges have now been filed in the shooting death of a Wayne State University police officer.

Raymond Durham, 61, faces first-degree murder and three other charges in the fatal shooting of Sergeant Collin Rose last November. Rose was shot in the head while conducting a bicycle traffic stop near midtown Detroit.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy’s office had to drop charges against another man accused of Rose’s murder last year. But Worthy says the case against Durham is different.

Kym Worthy
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy is adding staff to look into possible wrongful convictions.

"No prosecutor wants to be party to knowingly convicting or keeping someone in prison that is either factually not guilty or a case we can't sustain," Worthy told the Associated Press. "We should not be afraid to have a unit like this."

Kym Worthy (file photo).
waynecounty.com

Community leaders in Detroit this week are calling on Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy to change the way her office prosecutes cases. They she has been too harsh on juvenile offenders and has allowed exonerated prisoners to stay behind bars.

Richard Wershe Jr. ("White Boy Rick") received a life sentence because he was caught as a 16-year-old with eight kilos of cocaine in Detroit in the 1980s. The documentary about him entitled "White Boy" is premiering at the Freep Film Festival.
Screen grab from Transition Studios

Richard Wershe Jr., otherwise known as "White Boy Rick", has been in prison for nearly 30 years. He's serving a life sentence because he was caught as a 16-year-old with eight kilos of cocaine in Detroit in the 1980s.

A new documentary exploring how the FBI got him involved in the drug game and the people who are working to keep him in prison, made its world premiere in Detroit as part of the Freep Film Festival Friday night.

The title of the film is "White Boy” and its director, Shawn Rech, joined Stateside to talk about how this project came to be.

Kym Worthy (file photo).
waynecounty.com

Prosecutors in Detroit say they had the wrong man in jail for the murder of Wayne State University Police Sgt. Collin Rose on November 22.

They are dropping all charges against DeAngelo Davis, 31, who was arraigned in connection with the fatal shooting and pled not guilty to killing Officer Rose on Nov. 25.

Charles Lews
Michigan Department of Corrections

A 59-year-old Detroit man convicted of murder at age 17 deserves a new sentence, his supporters argued Tuesday before a hearing in Wayne County Circuit Court.

Charles Lewis is one of 367 “juvenile lifers” in Michigan — prisoners who were sentenced to automatic life without parole as minors.

The U.S. Supreme Court has recently ruled that unconstitutional in most cases, and ordered juvenile lifers a meaningful chance at meaningful parole. 

Kym Worthy (file photo).
waynecounty.com

Michigan’s largest county has formed a special unit focused on solving and prosecuting crimes against LGBT people.

 

The unit in Wayne County will focus first on prosecuting a dozen current cases – including six murders -- and re-opening three unsolved “cold cases” in Detroit.

 

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy says crimes against LGBT people often go unreported, and can be more difficult than other cases to solve. 

 

HTTP://WWW.WAYNECOUNTY.COM/PROSECUTOR/

DETROIT – Charges have been filed in two shootings that killed a child and injured another in Detroit.

Prosecutor Kym Worthy defended her decision to charge relatives of victims who shot themselves after finding unsecured guns at home. She says adults who "adopt, bear or look after children" must be held responsible.

Five-year-old Mariah Davis shot herself in the neck after finding a gun under a pillow on May 11. Her grandparents were charged Wednesday with involuntary manslaughter and other crimes.

Davontae Sanford
Michigan Department of Corrections

The Michigan State Police have wrapped up a nearly year-long investigation into who really killed four people in a Detroit home one September night in 2007.

Back then, police brought in a 14-year-old kid named Davontae Sanford. After hours of interrogation without a parent or a lawyer, he confessed and was later sent to prison.

But just weeks later, a professional hitman, Vincent Smothers, was arrested and confessed to those same killings, even leading police to the weapon he used. 

A Wayne County judge sentenced Detroit state Senator Virgil Smith to ten months in jail Monday – but the court saga isn’t over just yet.

Smith had initially been charged with several felonies, after a violent domestic dispute with his ex-wife in May 2015.

But Smith cut a plea deal with prosecutors. He ended up pleading guilty to just one count, malicious destruction of property, for shooting up his ex-wife’s Mercedes.

 A suburban Detroit police officer won’t face charges for shooting and killing a high school senior.

Police in the downriver community of Trenton shot 18-year-old Kyle Baker inside his home in late May.

They were called to do a welfare check on the teen, after school officials reported his “erratic and paranoid behavior before leaving campus.”

Officers entered the home, where Baker advanced on them with a two-foot-long lawnmower blade, according to Trenton police.

Washtenaw County Prosecutor's Office

Authorities say more work remains after DNA testing has been done on thousands of sexual assault kits discovered in a Detroit police property storage facility in 2009.

The Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News report Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy, who has championed efforts to get the kits tested, recently gave an update.

http://www.waynecounty.com/prosecutor/

The Wayne County Prosecutor’s office says it's still investigating the death of Terrance Kellom, a 20-year-old man fatally shot by a federal agent in April.

“We are waiting for a report that we expect to receive in the near future,” said spokesperson Maria Miller on Thursday afternoon. “We must have that before a decision can be made in this matter. We do not expect to release anything at this time.”

But Friday morning a group of activists plan to hold a silent vigil outside the courthouse, saying the prosecutor promised the investigation would be released by tomorrow.

Washtenaw County Prosecutor's office

Wayne County has partnered with UPS to make sure Detroit never faces a rape kit backlog again.

Prosecutor Kym Worthy says her office worked with UPS to design a tracking system for the rape kits—using the same kind of technology the shipping company uses to track packages.

Office of the Washtenaw County Prosecutor

A bipartisan bill in the state Senate would speed up the testing of rape kits.

It proposes a set of deadlines for law enforcement agencies to pick up rape kits from medical facilities and have them tested at crime labs. The time limit from pickup  to completion of the lab analysis would be four months.

The bill is in response to the discovery in 2009 of about 11,000 untested rape kits in a Detroit police storage unit. The kits went back 25 years.

Kym Worthy, the Wayne County prosecutor, collaborated on the bill. 

Law enforcement officials are choosing sides in the Detroit mayor’s race.

And perhaps not surprisingly, Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon has earned their support.

Some major Detroit Police and Wayne County Sheriffs union officials endorsed Napoleon Tuesday, as did Wayne County prosecutor Kym Worthy.

Worthy says that when it comes to tackling Detroit’s crime problem, Napoleon “gets it,” unlike current leaders.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

DETROIT (AP) - A one-person grand jury has been convened to investigate whether any criminal activity is involved in the over-budget Wayne County Jail project.

County Circuit Court Judge Timothy Kenny on Wednesday also banned the release of an auditor general's investigation of the construction project.

Kenny's order came after a petition filed by Prosecutor Kym Worthy. Among other things, the petition says Worthy's investigation will focus on neglect of duty, conspiracy, fraud and misconduct.

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