Sister of man released after 37 years in prison says ‘It’s a healing journey’

Family of man released from prison after 37 years speaks

Family of man released from prison after 37 years speaks

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — What a week for a man named Michael Rhynes. After nearly 40 years in prison for murder, the verdict was thrown out on Tuesday and he was released from Attica.

Thursday, News10NBC spoke to his sister, Petronia Rhynes.

Here’s a little background: In 1986, Michael Rhynes was convicted of murder after a botched robbery at a bar in Rochester. Rhynes was convicted primarily on the testimony of two men who were already in jail.
Every appeal Rhynes made over the years was rejected.

But in the last 12 months, both men who testified against Rhynes said that they lied about Rhynes in order to reduce their sentences. So this week, Judge Stephen Miller threw out the verdict and ordered Rhynes released.

On the phone, News10NBC’s Berkeley Brean asked Petronia Rhynes if she ever thought this time would come where her brother was released from prison. 

“Yes,” she siad. “Because I have faith in God and I know what God can do.”

Berkeley asked her how she feels about the two men whose lies put her brother in prison for almost 40 years.

“I don’t feel any type of way,” Rhynes said. “I just forgive them and I’m glad they finally came and gave their statements to what is true.”

Berkeley asked her what she and her brother have talked about since his release Tuesday. She said, “Just talking and getting to know each other all over again.”

Despite the verdict being tossed and Rhynes released from prison, there is still an open indictment against him. His lawyer told Berkeley Thursday that he hopes a hearing on January 8 will close the indictment and close the case for good.