MINNEAPOLIS (trfnews.i234.me) – Marvin Haynes, now 35, is fighting to overturn his first-degree murder conviction for the 2004 Minneapolis flower shop murder. Represented by the Great North Innocence Project, Haynes argues that the state and the jury erred in convicting him almost two decades ago.
In a recent evidentiary hearing at the Hennepin County courthouse, attorney Andrew Markquart emphasized that Haynes has spent nearly 20 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. The defense contends that Haynes’ conviction is legally and factually defective, urging the court to vacate it.
The Hennepin County Attorney’s office opposes Haynes’ efforts, emphasizing the extensive evidence presented during the original trial. Assistant Hennepin Co. Attorney Anna Light stressed that the jury, after considering all the evidence, found Haynes guilty, and this determination should not be taken lightly.
The case, stemming from a May 16, 2004, armed robbery at Jerry’s Flower Shop that turned deadly, resulted in the killing of Randy Sherer. Witnesses, including Sherer’s sister, who has since passed away, were present during the tragic incident.
Haynes and his legal team focus on challenging the police’s original lineups, arguing that the suspect identification process was flawed. Expert witnesses, including Nancy Steblay, highlighted significant issues with the lineups, suggesting a high risk of identification error.
The evidentiary hearing is ongoing, with Haynes expected to testify. The court presided over by Judge William Koch, will ultimately decide whether to vacate Haynes’ conviction.