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Who is Davontae Sanford? Man exonerated after 8 years in prison gives away $25,000 worth of free gas

Sanford, wrongly convicted when he was a 15-year-old boy of killing four people, wanted to give back to the most vulnerable after he was released
Davontae Sanford was wrongfully convicted as a teen for killing four people for which he spent eight years in prison (FOX 2 Detroit/ YouTube)
Davontae Sanford was wrongfully convicted as a teen for killing four people for which he spent eight years in prison (FOX 2 Detroit/ YouTube)

MICHIGAN, DETROIT: Detroit resident Davontae Sanford, who was exonerated after spending eight years in prison, has now turned good samritan. He is now helping his fellow Detroit residents by giving away $25,000 in gas. Initially, he had pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the shootings of four people in 2007 when he was only 15 years old.

However, later, he said that he was innocent and that he accepted a plea deal only because an attorney poorly represented him. The convictions against him were dropped in 2016 when officials cited police misconduct. The Detroit City Council has agreed to pay Sanford $7.5M in March to settle the claims he had made for the way the police had violated his rights.


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On Tuesday, August 9, a row of cars lined up at a BP gas station at 9 am on Outer Drive near I-94 after Sanford announced that he will giveaway $25,000 of free gasoline. The giveaway was only for senior citizens and women. He later said that he wanted to help "vulnerable" groups. He also arranged for food, music, Walmart gift cards, and an eventual car giveaway. According to Fox 2 Detroit, he said, "When I was in prison and I didn't have nobody, next thing you know, I have people from all over the world fighting for me, trying to get me out of prison because I was innocent. I came home with nothing."

"The city had my back, so it's only right I give back to the city and I give back to the most vulnerable, which is the women and the elderly. We in tough times right now, and I feel as if what I’m doing, it may not be much, but I feel as if it’s going to go a long way," he added. 


Residents shared news of the giveaway on social media. One user on Facebook wrote, "Oh my God! Davontae Stanford is doing a free gas giveaway on the East Side this morning. If you don’t know his story, you must!  He’s one of the worst examples of the collision of poverty, race, policing, criminal punishment and youthful innocence you will ever see. The system literally chewed this child up and spit him out. Police spoon-fed the scene to him so his “confession” seemed credible. And our elected Prosecutor, Kym Worthy, despicably persisted in trying to punish him even after a confessed hit man shouted off the rooftops that he was the killer and Davontae was innocent. Owing only to the his own fight to be free, grace of God, and the tenacity of brilliant lawyers, they did not succeed in destroying him!" 


Attorney Charlie Langton also took to Twitter to share the news and wrote, "FREE GAS!!!  ⛽️ But you better hurry… Cars 🚗 are lined up for more than a mile on Harper at Outer Drive at the BP gas station. ( Women/Elderly only) Wrongfully convicted, Davontae Sanford is paying for the free gas. @WWJ950 @WWJTraffic @FOX2News #gas #detroit #tuesdayvibe #FREE"