Man freed from jail may get $2 million from Detroit

Ed White
Associated Press

Detroit — A man who spent nearly a decade in prison before his murder conviction was thrown out has agreed to a $2 million settlement with Detroit.

The sum was disclosed this week in public documents and requires approval by the City Council.

Dwayne Provience is “satisfied,” attorney Wolfgang Mueller said Thursday. “If my client is happy, then I’m happy for him.”

Provience, 41, was released from prison in 2009 after University of Michigan law students discovered information that pointed to another suspect in a drug-related homicide in 2000. He became the third person cleared with help from the law school’s Innocence Clinic.

Prosecutors had planned to put Provience on trial again, but the case was dropped. He insisted he was innocent.

Provience sued the city in 2010, claiming a police officer violated his rights by not disclosing information that would have helped his defense at trial.

Two lawyers and a former judge who evaluated the case recommended $5 million, Mueller said, but the city rejected that amount. Then the lawsuit was slowed by Detroit’s bankruptcy, which lasted about 18 months and suspended any pending litigation.

Mueller said the settlement ends the uncertainties of a trial and subsequent appeals. Provience wants to become a physical therapist.

“He hopes to open his own clinic one day,” Mueller said.

In another case, Detroit recently agreed to a $2.5 million settlement with Walter Swift, who spent 26 years in prison for a rape he didn’t commit.