A South Florida man is getting a new chance to withdraw his guilty plea and confession in the 1999 slaying of a man shot down while riding a bicycle.
The 3rd District Court of Appeal ruled Wednesday that Michael Perez deserves a hearing because of new evidence and witnesses that have only recently come forward. Perez was serving a 40-year prison sentence in the killing of Jimmy Ramirez in Miami.
The new witnesses say the shooting was actually committed by a local gang leader known as Fat Steve. The witnesses say they were afraid to come forward before because of fear of retribution.
Perez claims he pleaded guilty even though he was actually innocent. The appeals court says a hearing must be held to determine the credibility of the witnesses.