Immigrant facing deportation for 1986 burglary has conviction overturned

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Thursday, January 29, 2015

BROOKLYN (WABC) -- An immigrant who was framed for burglary nearly 30 years ago has officially had his charges vacated.

Michael Waithe faced deportation to his native Barbados unless the case against him was dropped.

Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson concluded that the father-of-four was wrongfully convicted in a 1986 burglary and asked the judge to vacate.

Waithe served a year and a half in prison after being convicted of trying to steal from a woman, who recently admitted that she made up the crime in response to her belief that Waithe had stolen her car.

It is Thompson's 12th vacated sentence since assuming office in January 2014 and the first non-homicide exoneration concluded by his Conviction Review unit.

"This hardworking and innocent man came to our country for a better life and ended up being framed and went to prison for a crime that he didn't commit," Thompson told the judge. "He now faces being ripped apart from his family, including his three beautiful children and granddaughter. Wrongful convictions lead not only to wrongful imprisonment, but also can impact a person's job, housing or immigration status."