On March 7, 2013, the Detroit Police Department presented the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office with a warrant request in connection with the testimony given by former Detroit Police Department homicide lieutenant William Rice, 63, during an appellate court evidentiary proceeding held on October 28, 2009, in the case of the People v. Davontae Sanford. Today Rice has been charged with two counts of Perjury in a Capital Case. This is a felony that carries a penalty of any term of years up to life in prison.
Sanford was a 14-year-old juvenile at the time he was charged as an adult in the September 17, 2007 homicides of four people that occurred in the 19700 block of Runyon Street in Detroit. On March 18, 2008, during the second day of a bench trial held before Judge Brian Sullivan, the defendant pleaded guilty to four counts of Second Degree Murder and one count of Felony Firearm. Sanford was sentenced to 37 to 90 years in prison on the Second Degree Murder counts and two years consecutive on the felony firearm count.
Sanford filed a motion to withdraw his guilty plea and in May, 2009, the Court of Appeals remanded the case back to Judge Sullivan to hold an evidentiary hearing.
One of the claims raised in the post-conviction motion was a claim of actual innocence based on an alibi defense. On October 28, 2009, Rice was sworn as a defense alibi witness; it is alleged that Rice gave false testimony during the proceeding. Sanford's motion to withdraw the guilty plea was later denied by Judge Sullivan on February 28, 2012 and it is currently on appeal in the Michigan Court of Appeals.
Rice is expected to be arraigned on Wednesday, March 27, 2013, at 1:00 p.m. in 36th District Court. He is currently facing charges before Judge William McConico in 36th District Court alleging that he Conducted a Continuing Criminal Enterprise with co-defendant Cheryl Sanford, who is the great aunt of Defendant Sanford.
# # # #