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Herbert Alford was wrongfully convicted of murder in 2016 and says the Hertz rental car company could have kept him out of prison. The Lansing man is bringing a lawsuit against the corporation, saying it could have turned over a key piece of evidence three years earlier.

Last year, Alford was exonerated for the murder of Michael Adams in 2016. He has maintained all along that at the time of the murder he renting a vehicle at the Hertz rental facility at the Capital Region International Airport in Lansing.

But the receipt that proved Alford's innocence remained elusive.

Without that key piece of evidence, Alford was convicted of Adams' murder. His lawyer, Jamie White, reiterated the importance of that receipt.

"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," White tells Fox 47. "And for that reason, we were extremely adamant to have those documents produced.”

But finally, in 2018, the Hertz corporation turned over the receipt to the Ingham County Prosecutor's office. That eventually led to Alford's exoneration and release from prison.

Now, Alford is suing the car rental company, saying that he was wrongfully imprisoned.

"You certainly can’t put a dollar sign on somebody’s liberty for several years,” his lawyer said.

White tells the TV station he hopes the suit will prevent this sort of thing 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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