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    Oakland Co. judge grants new trial for man serving life in fire that killed 5


    Pontiac — An Oakland County Circuit Court judge on Tuesday granted a new trial for a man serving life in prison for a 2000 arson fire that killed five children.

    Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Jeffrey Matis ruled Juwan Deering’s constitutional rights were violated following oral arguments from Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald, who in an unusual twist, urged the judge to toss the conviction.

    Deering has severed 14 years of a life sentence for the Royal Oak Township fire.

    Matis declined to release Deering on bond. McDonald could dismiss the case against Deering. She is expected to make a decision by next week, officials said Tuesday. 

    McDonald and attorneys with the Michigan Innocence Project contend there was prosecutorial misconduct and that Deering did not receive a fair trial.

    “Everyone is entitled to due process of law,” McDonald told Matis Tuesday. “Juwan Deering is entitled to due process of law.”

    Deering, now 50,  was sentenced to life in prison in 2006 for a fatal fire on Pasadena Street in Royal Oak Township in April 2000 that claimed the lives of Taleigha Dean, 10; Craig Dean, 8; Aaron Dean, 7; Eugene Dean, 5; and an 11-year-old friend, Michelle Frame. 

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