MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - A 2004 murder case that rocked the city of Minneapolis is getting a fresh look in court.
The convicted killer, Marvin Haynes, then 16 years old, and his family have maintained his innocence. Now, a Hennepin County judge has agreed to take a closer look, granting Haynes an evidentiary hearing to present his side of the story.
The case dates back nearly two decades when a gunman walked into Jerry’s Flower Shop in north Minneapolis, demanded money, and then killed Randy Sherer, one of the family members who owned the store. U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar was the county attorney at the time of the case. Haynes has insisted, he is not the person who pulled the trigger.
His sister, Marvina Haynes has never stopped fighting to exonerate Marvin, organizing several recent protests at the Hennepin County Government Center in hopes of bringing him home from prison.
"I think Marvin’s evidence speaks for itself," Marvina Haynes told FOX 9’s Paul Blume in an interview on Tuesday. "I don't even know how he actually really got involved in it."
A jury convicted Haynes of first-degree murder following a trial in late summer 2005.
"When a crime occurs like this, it is a tremendous loss for the family, but it is a loss for an entire neighborhood," then-County Attorney Klobuchar said at a news conference with police.
Haynes was just 16 years old at the time and was sentenced to life in prison. Now 35, his case is being put back under the microscope thanks to his family’s efforts and the resources of the Great North Innocence Project.
Haynes’ attorneys claim to have turned up new evidence and holes in the work of investigators including the accuracy of the one eyewitness to the deadly encounter, the victim’s sister who was in the floral shop at the time and fled before the deadly gunshots were fired. She has since passed away.
On Monday, Hennepin County Judge William Koch granted a motion to hold an evidentiary hearing, in an effort to set the record straight.
"I could guarantee 100% that Marvin had no knowledge of this crime. He wasn't in the area, and we were taught different values. And my brother wouldn’t have done anything like that," concluded Marvina Haynes.
Marvin Haynes appealed to the state Supreme Court years ago with the justices upholding his first-degree murder conviction.
This new evidentiary hearing, which was described as a ‘mini-trial’ for Haynes to present his case with updated findings and newly sworn witness accounts is currently scheduled on the district court calendar over three days at the end of November.