Ex-DPD Homicide head could get life if convicted of perjury

Ex-DPD Homicide head could get life if convicted of perjury

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William Rice is the former head of the Detroit Police Department's Homicide Unit  (Credit: Fox 2 News) William Rice is the former head of the Detroit Police Department's Homicide Unit (Credit: Fox 2 News)
DETROIT (WJBK) -

He once put killers behind bars, but now the former head of the Detroit Police Homicide Unit could go to prison for life.  William Rice didn't kill anyone.  He is accused of lying under oath.

The 63-year-old will soon be formally charged with two counts of perjury.  The Wayne County Prosecutor's Office claims Rice gave false testimony during an appellate court proceeding for Davontae Sanford.  Sanford, a developmentally challenged child, was 14 when he was charged as an adult and later convicted of a quadruple homicide back in 2007. The homicides happened inside a home on Runyon.  Detectives say it was a dope house on Detroit's east side.

What was Rice's alleged role on Runyon?  Cooking up a phony alibi for Sanford saying the two were together when the fatal shots were fired.

So why would Rice be staring down a life sentence for allegedly telling a lie.  Some would say that sounds excessive, but in a capital case like this one, it is possible.  

"If you lie in a murder case under oath, that is almost as bad as the murder itself because you could go to prison for life," said Fox 2 legal analyst Charlie Langton.

You may recall that Rice along with his girlfriend and co-defendant, Cheryl Sanford, have been charged with conducting a criminal enterprise and other crimes.  Cheryl Sandford just so happens to be Davontae's great aunt.  Her nephew is doing time for multiple murders.

So another one of Detroit's former elite could be poised for prison not for bid-rigging or taking a bribe, but for allegedly lying under oath.

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