Judge holding gavel, close-up

A man who spent more than 20 years in prison cried as a judge erased his conviction for sexually assaulting a child.

Kevin Lackey publicly thanked his family for "never giving up" on him and believing in his innocence. The Wayne County prosecutor's office asked that his 1993 conviction be thrown out after concluding it was based on unreliable evidence from a police tracking dog.

A judge on Thursday also threw out the second-degree murder conviction of Michael Powels, who has been in prison since 2008. Prosecutors say a key witness gave false testimony.

Lackey was released from prison in 2014. Lackey and Powels could be eligible for compensation from the state.

Separately, prosecutors say Lackey faces gun and assault charges in a new case. His lawyer, Todd Perkins, says there will be a "vigorous defense." He calls it "rain on victory day."

Copyright 2019 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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