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Kym Worthy

Kym Loren Worthy
Wayne County Prosecutor
Assumed office
6 January 2004
Preceded byMike Duggan
Personal details
Political partyDemocratic
Alma materUniversity of Michigan (AB)
Notre Dame Law School (JD)

Kym Loren Worthy (born December 5,1956) is the current prosecutor of Wayne County, Michigan, home to Detroit. She is the first African-American woman to serve as a county prosecutor in Michigan. She became internationally recognized for prosecuting then Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick at the beginning of March 2008.

Worthy received her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and her law degree from the University of Notre Dame Law School. She attended high school in Alexandria, Virginia and is a 1974 graduate of T.C. Williams High School.

Worthy started as an assistant prosecutor in the Wayne County Prosecutor's in 1984. She served in this position for ten years, becoming the first African-American special assignment prosecutor under Prosecutor John O'Hair. Her most notable prosecution was the trial of Walter Budzyn and Larry Nevers in the beating death of Malice Green. Worthy had an over 90% conviction rate.[1] From 1994 until January 2004 Worthy was a judge on the Wayne County Circuit Court.

In 2004, Worthy was appointed by the judges of the Wayne County Circuit Court bench to replace now Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, who resigned to become the head of the Detroit Medical Center.

The Wayne County Prosecutor's Office is by far the busiest in Michigan. There are 83 counties in Michigan yet Worthy's office handles 52% of all felony cases in Michigan and 64% of all serious felony cases that go to jury trial.[2] In 2013 Worthy sued Wayne County alleging that Wayne County Executive Robert A. Ficano had provided her with an insufficient budget to fulfill her duties as outlined in the Michigan State Constitution.[3] In June 2014 Worthy backed Warren Evans in his successful race to oust then Wayne Robert A. Ficano in the Democratic Primary.[4]

Presently, Worthy is working on resolving a massive backlog of unprocessed rape test kits in Detroit. In 2009, one of her assistants discovered a massive number of kits sitting in a warehouse that the Detroit Police Department had used as an overflow storage facility for evidence. Eventually, over 11,431 rape test kits—some of which had been sitting unprocessed for a decade or more—were discovered in the warehouse. In one case, a 2002 rape was linked to a man who was incarcerated for three murders he committed in the seven years after the rape. She is currently featured in the documentary produced by Mariska Hargitay - I AM EVIDENCE.[5]

Bryce Lindley Case

On April 29, 2019 a 10-year old child, Bryce Lindley struck another child in the face with a ball during a game of dodge ball at Ruth Eriksson Elementary, in Canton, Michigan. The child who was struck in the face sustained a black eye, bruised nose and later received treatment in the ER for a concussion. Kym Worthy allowed Wayne County’s assistant prosecuting attorney Maria Miller to file aggravated assault charges against the 10-year old for the dodge ball injuries despite calls from prominent local officials not to do so. Many are pointing to the fact that the child being charged is black and the child injured was white as more evidence of a racial bias. According to the injured child's mother, the boy who was injured had previous head injuries and knew he shouldn't play dodge ball but did so anyway. [6]

Opposition to accepting innocence

Ms. Worthy has been widely criticized [7] [8] [9] for resistance accepting evidence of innocence and fighting claims of innocence, going so far as to argue that innocence is insuficient grounds to reverse a plea deal and fighting claims against the states fund to compensate victims of wrongful prosecution.[10]


  1. ^ "Detroit's dramatic prosecutor. (Kym Worthy, lawyer in Malice Green police brutality case) - Ebony |". Archived from the original on 2008-09-03. Retrieved 2008-04-28.
  2. ^ "Wayne County, MI - Prosecutor of Wayne County". Archived from the original on 2008-05-10. Retrieved 2008-04-28.
  3. ^ "Detroit Free Press article on Worthy's suit". Archived from the original on 2015-09-24. Retrieved 2014-07-24.
  4. ^ "NPR', March 6, 2010". Archived from the original on March 2, 2019. Retrieved July 30, 2019.
  5. ^ []
  6. ^ []
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2019-06-30. Retrieved 2019-07-30.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2018-10-23. Retrieved 2019-07-30.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2018-10-23. Retrieved 2019-07-30.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ []

External links