'04 murder conviction tossed: informant's role was concealed

ROMULUS (AP) — A judge has thrown out a Detroit-area murder conviction after it was revealed that a key witness in 2004 was a paid police informant — a crucial detail that wasn't disclosed to the defense.

Federal Judge David Lawson says the information "could have destroyed" the credibility of the witness, but it was never shared with John Ray's lawyer. Wayne County Judge Brian Sullivan was told about the informant during a private hearing with a prosecutor and then sealed the transcript.

Ray's lawyer didn't participate. The transcript was sealed for 12 years until 2016.

Ray and others were convicted of murder in the 2004 deaths of two people at a Romulus drug house. Ray admits he was outside the house during the killings but insists he had no other role.