INGHAM CO., Mich. — Herbert Alford was wrongfully convicted of murdering of 23-year-old Michael Adams in 2016. He was exonerated last year. Now he's suing the company that turned over the document that proved his innocence three years too late.
The Hertz Corporation had a receipt proving Alford was renting a car at the Capital Region International Airport at the time of the murder but didn't release it when they were first asked.
“Mr. Alford had maintained since day one that he was at the Hertz rental facility out by the airport and could not have committed this crime," said Alford's attorney, Jamie White. "And for that reason we were extremely adamant to have those documents produced.”
In 2018, Hertz turned over the receipt to the Ingham County Prosecutor's Office and two years late Alford finally saw the day he'd been waiting for.
“It’s the production of these documents that lead to dismissal of all charges against him,” White said.
Now, Alford is suing Hertz for his wrongful imprisonment.
“You certainly can’t put a dollar sign on somebody’s liberty for several years,” White said.
White said they want to hold Hertz accountable for not turning over the documents in 2016.
“We have a public entity who takes money from our community, has no problem doing that, but when asked for the most minor task of following up on valid court orders when someone's life is on the line," White said. "We just believe it's unthinkable."
Hertz Corporation did not respond to a request for comment.
White said they hope this lawsuit will prevent something like this from happening again.
“We’re doing what needs to be done to make sure Hertz takes a different approach the next time a young African American man is facing a murder charge or any charge or any man or woman for that matter,” White said.
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