Jury deliberation underway in trial for two Cleveland men who say they were convicted of crime they didn’t commit

Published: Sep. 26, 2022 at 8:06 PM EDT

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Kenny Phillips and Michael Sutton are on pins and needles.

The Cleveland men are hoping a jury finds them not guilty after 16 years.

“We’re asking you to end this after 16 years and return not guilty verdicts,” said Justin Herdman, Michael Sutton’s attorney.

The duo was convicted back in 2007 for a drive-by shooting in Cleveland that severely injured two men.

As 19 News has told you extensively for years, Phillips and Sutton have maintained their innocence.

Last year, a judge overturned their convictions because it was determined prosecutors failed to disclose evidence in their first trial.

“No gun, no shell casings, no motive evidence,” said Herdman.

This is Phillips and Sutton’s second chance at freedom.

Their re-trial wrapped up on Monday.

Their lawyers arguing that the police got the wrong guys and didn’t do a thorough investigation.

“It also extends to Carl Hartman, he is the detective who detected nothing in this case. He never found a gun, shell casings, he never found a witness,” said Herdman.

Back in 2007 and even today, prosecutors relied heavily on the word of a Cleveland police officer named Daniel Lentz who says he saw Phillips and Sutton shoot the victims.

Sutton and Phillips’ lawyers say Lentz wasn’t credible in 2007 and isn’t credible now.”

“He’s willing to embellish his testimony under oath,” said Herdman. “Self admitted embellishment.”

Now, for second time in 15 years, it’s up to a jury to decide the fate of Michael Sutton and Kenny Phillips.