Former Flint Police Chief Could Face Criminal Charges for Testimony in Detroit Teen's Wrongful Conviction

PHOTO: In this June 30, 2010 file photo, Davontae Sanford sits in a Detroit courtroom. Carlos Osorio/AP Photo
In this June 30, 2010 file photo, Davontae Sanford sits in a Detroit courtroom. On June 7, 2016, a judge ordered the release of Sanford, who is in prison after pleading guilty to killing four people at age 14, a crime for which a professional hit man later took responsibility.

The police chief who was forced to resign from his post in Flint, Michigan, during city's water crisis could also face criminal charges for his role in the wrongful conviction of a Detroit man who spent nearly nine years in jail for a crime he did not commit.

There is a warrant under review for James Tolbert, the former Flint police chief and former Detroit deputy chief, for his involvement in the incarceration of Davontae Sanford nearly nine years ago, according to the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office, which encompasses Detroit.

In 2008, at the age of fifteen, Sanford was sentenced to 37 to 90 years in jail for a quadruple homicide, known as the "Runyon Street" murders. A keystone piece of evidence in Sanford's conviction was a drawing of the crime scene that James Tolbert said Sanford drew, according to the prosecutor's office.

After a re-investigation into the Sanford case this past year, Tolbert contradicted his sworn testimony, admitting that the diagram of the crime scene was drawn by him, an attorney for Sanford told ABC News on Wednesday. The prosecutor's office also confirmed the detail.

Two weeks after Sanford's sentencing, a hit man confessed to the murders, but it took almost 9 years to vacate the charges against Sanford, after the police re-investigation was completed.

Sanford was 14 at the time of the murders, and 15 when he was sentenced, and he was freed from prison on Thursday, at the age of 23.

The Wayne County Prosecutor's Office said in a statement announcing Sanford's release that "former Deputy Chief James Tolbert contradicts his sworn testimony that Davontae Sanford drew the entire diagram of the crime scene, including the location of the victims' bodies, while being questioned by the police. This called into question Tolbert’s credibility in the case."

The prosecutor's office told ABC News today that they currently have a warrant under review but no decision regarding charges has been made at this time.

Tolbert did not immediately respond to ABC News' requests for comment.