What we know about 2 Pontiac brothers who were wrongly convicted 25 years ago

‘The money ain’t even nothing compared to what we lost’

OAKLAND COUNTY, Mich.George and Melvin DeJesus, who were released from prison this past March, are asking the court for more than $125 million after spending 25 years behind bars for a murder they didn’t commit.

The suit’s 24 pages make troubling charges as the DeJesus brothers claim investigators from the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office with framing them for the murder of a Pontiac woman they lived next to back in 1995.

An emotional Lansing reunion happened last March, where the brothers were kept apart by the Michigan Department of Corrections for 25 years.

They came together on Tuesday (Nov. 29) to look for answers.

“One of the strongest reasons of filing this lawsuit is we want to know why and getting that answer, maybe this won’t happen to somebody else,” said George DeJesus.

Their suit is against former Oakland County Sheriff’s Detective Lieutenant William Harvey, Chester Romatowski, his now-closed polygraph business, and Oakland County.

The DeJesus brothers claim those people and entities worked together to put Brandon Gohagen on the stand to testify the brothers forced him to rape and kill Margaret Midkiff of Pontiac, claiming he passed a polygraph test.

The DeJesus brothers were wrongly convicted of murder and felony firearm based on testimony from the real killer, Brandon Gohagen. (WDIV)

Attorney Wolfgang Mueller claims he can prove Gohagen lied in that pre-trial polygraph.

“It had to be from Harvey convincing Romatowski to fabricate the report because Romatowski was too good to get this that wrong,” said Mueller. This isn’t even a close call.”

“The money ain’t even nothing compared to what we lost those 25 years,” said Melvin DeJesus. “Especially for myself. I was at the hospital getting ready to have my daughter born.”

The Oakland County Sheriff’s Office came out with a statement Monday afternoon:

“Obviously, this case goes back more than 25 years, preceding sheriff (Mike) Bouchard’s tenure. More facts will need to be gathered because none of the people involved still work here.”

Local 4 did reach out to Romanowski Tuesday. He is 87 years old, lives in Florida, and doesn’t seem to have a working phone. We emailed him and have yet to receive a response. We were also unable to reach Harvey.

The brothers believe Oakland County will ultimately have to pay should they win their suit.

About the Authors:

Rod Meloni is an Emmy Award-winning Business Editor on Local 4 News and a Certified Financial Planner™ Professional.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.