By Associated Press - Tuesday, July 14, 2020

DETROIT (AP) - A judge overturned a murder conviction at the request of prosecutors and dismissed the case against a man who was accused of shooting a vandal at a Detroit investment property in 2011.

Edward Khalil “was not involved in the crimes he was charged with,” according to an order signed Monday by Judge Tracy Green.

Khalil, 37, was convicted of second-degree murder after a second trial in 2014. Jurors were told that he decided to strike back after becoming frustrated with trespassers at his vacant apartment building and a lack of police enforcement.

But the conviction-integrity unit inside the Wayne County prosecutor’s office took a fresh look. It found that the case against Khalil didn’t hold up, based on phone tower records, surveillance cameras and interviews.

The son of Khalil’s business partner said they arrived together after the shooting and saw the victim’s body for the first time.

“Several circumstances contributed to flawed fact-finding in this case,” the conviction-integrity unit said.

Khalil was convicted twice, although a judge set aside the first conviction and granted him a new trial that ultimately led to a minimum prison sentence of 16 years.

Khalil said he’s now feeling “joy and happiness.”

“Authentic happiness that comes from God. God’s love is what I’m talking about,” he told WDIV-TV.

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