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NBC 'Dateline' Facebook friends shed light on 1987 wrongful murder conviction

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Dateline” (NBC) can now be seen three times each week. Friday at 8/7 p.m. Saturday at 8/7 p.m. Sunday at 7/6 p.m. Last night's episode on April 4, 2014 was called, “Graduation Night.” It garnered 6.15 million TV viewers overall. It reached 1.2 million TV viewers in the all important 18 to 49 adult demographic. “Last Man Standing (ABC) grabbed 6.17 overall & 1.3 with adults. “Unforgettable” (CBS) nabbed 7.50 overall & 1.0 with adults.

“Dateline” is an investigative program that covers crime in the United States. “Graduation Night” was reported & narrated by Keith Morrison.

Graduation Night” opened with Mary Evans searching “Facebook” in Detroit 2009. She joined the North East Detroit alumni group. She posted a note wondering about Tommy & Ray Highers who both went to prison for the 1987 murder of a drug dealer named Robert Carey. An International trade attorney named Kevin saw Mary's Facebook post. He heard the story about the Highers brothers from a college buddy named John.

Kevin hadn't talked to John in over a decade & decided to call him up. He asked John about the murder of Robert. It turns out that John was there the night Robert was killed. He never went to the police, but later decided to go with Kevin to see the lawyer of the Highers brothers. John took a lie detector test which he passed, but the lawyer never got back to him or Kevin for a long time.

On the other side of town in Detroit. A private investigator named Julie-Ann was working on the Highers brothers case. She claims she wasn't getting anywhere with leads in that case. Robert was at his home who was dealing drugs at his back door. An unknown eye witness saw a car pull up at 9:30 p.m. Two men got out & went around to the back of Robert's house. A gun shot goes off & the two men drive off in that car. Robert was shot in the chest & died at the scene.

A jail house informant named Tommy Highers as the shooter of Robert. Tommy bought drugs from him & also owed Robert money. He even told people he was going to see Robert that night. The eye witness singled out Ray instead of Tommy as one of the young men running down the drive way that night. Both brothers were charged & convicted of killing Robert. They got life without parole.

What more information can John give to free the Highers brothers from prison? Who was the actual shooter who gunned down Robert? You can watch the full episode of “Graduation Night” at the official website of “Dateline.”

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