Judge orders release of Detroit man in 4 deaths, hit man confessed

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Davontae Sanford was 15 when he confessed to police to killing four people at a Detroit drug den. He says he pleaded guilty to please police.

A judge has ordered the release of a young Detroit man who is in prison after pleading guilty to killing four people at age 14, a crime for which a professional hit man later took responsibility.

The prosecutor's office agreed Davontae Sanford's second-degree murder conviction should be vacated after state police re-examined the case.

Judge Brian Sullivan tells The Associated Press he signed the order Tuesday and Sanford is expected to be released on bond.

Sanford, now 23, is in prison for the 2007 fatal shootings of four people at a Detroit drug den. He pleaded guilty at age 15. He's been trying to undo that plea for years, especially after hit man Vincent Smothers, confessed.

Smothers insists Sanford had no role.

Sanford's family says he confessed to please police.