By Rosemary K. Otzman
Accused murderer Kenneth William Coskie of Van Buren Township will have his preliminary exam on July 2 before Chief Judge Tina Brooks Green at 34th District Court in Romulus.
Coskie was brought before Judge David Parrott on June 18, but neither his defense attorney nor the prosecutor on the case were available to be present.
Judge Parrott said the court got the results of the competency exam and a hearing has to be set within five days. That’s why Coskie was brought to court on June 18.
Judge Parrott continued Coskie’s $1 million bond and he was returned to the Wayne County Jail. Coskie, 74, was looking frail in his bright-yellow prison garb.
Coskie is charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of Eric Williams, 44, just before 8 p.m. on April 23 near his home in the Michigan Avenue – Denton Road area of Van Buren Township.
Coskie also was charged with felony firearm and is considered an habitual offender.
VBT Detective Donovan McCarthy is the lead officer on the case.
Ronnie Purnell Begley
Ronnie Purnell Begley, 50, who is being lodged in the Wayne County Jail, wanted to hold his preliminary exam on June 18 before Judge Parrott and so it was held.
Begley is charged with domestic violence and malicious destruction of property and is being held on $50,000 or 10% bond.
His court-appointed attorney Kristine Longstreet said it was Begley’s right to have a preliminary exam.
The complainant Lorrie Gullekson was called to the stand to testify and Begley said, “I love you,” to her.
Judge Parrott told Begley not to talk to anyone but his lawyer. He said Begley would be in contempt of court if he talked.
Gullekson said Begley was her boyfriend for 30 years off and on and he stays with her. She testified that on May 18, they were in her home in the 6600 block of Parkside in Belleville (VBT) and he went to bed early and then got up and was upset because she wasn’t in bed.
Gullekson said he put his hand on her mouth and cut her mouth.
“It was an accident,” she said and Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor Cary Butoric moved to strike the comment.
Gullekson said his hand went in her mouth and she was bleeding and he was scared.
“He kicked me in my leg and threatened to break my windshield,” she said, adding she had no money to pay for a new windshield. Then he broke her windshield.
“I pushed him down… and he was pushing my fingers back,” Gullekson said. She called the police.
The prosecutor stipulated that Begley had several domestic violence charges: May 13, 2003; Dec. 29, 2003; April 11, 2006; Jan. 12, 2010; and June 11, 2012.
There was no cross-examination of the witness and Judge Parrott found probable cause to bind him over to circuit court for an arraignment on the information at 9 a.m., June 25.
As he left the courtroom, Begley kept mouthing the words, “I love you” to Gullekson, who sat in the courtroom with friends.
VBT Det. McCarthy is the lead officer on the case.
Joseph David Barrera
The preliminary exam set for June 18 for Joseph David Barrera was waived and so Judge Parrott bound him over to circuit court for a June 25 arraignment on the information.
Barrera, 37, had been lodged in the Wayne County Jail on $20,000 or 10% bond for charges of third-degree operating while intoxicated, driving while license suspended, and driver with open intoxicant.
Barrera’s attorney said he was not working at the moment and is in a stable home. Barrera was arrested for this 2012 case at the same address where it happened. He also had offenses in 2003 and 2010. The attorney asked for a personal bond.
Judge Parrott said he wouldn’t usually release such a defendant without a cash bond, but he did lower Barrera’s cash bond to $5,000 or 10%, but he must wear an alcohol tether.
VBT Det. Mark Abdilla is the lead officer on the case.
Dominic William Rubino
A preliminary exam was held before Judge Parrott for Dominic William Rubino, 18, on a charge of home invasion – first degree. He is being held in the Wayne County Jail on a $50,000/10% bond.
Just one witness was called to testify: Paul Woodly. Prosecutor Shannon Walker asked if Woodly knew the defendant and he replied that he met Rubino through one of his babysitter’s daughters. He identified Rubino in the courtroom
Woodly testified that on June 2 he was sleeping in his home on Texas Street, Sumpter Township, after going to bed at 10 p.m. The mobile home was locked and secured, he said.
He was asleep in the front bedroom when the overhead light switched on. He said he sat up and saw the defendant standing at the foot of his bed.
“He froze,” Woodly said of the intruder. “I asked him what he was doing and he said someone told him to come in. I told him no, no one did.”
Woodly said Rubino said, “I’m not trying to do you like this,” and ran out of his bedroom and out of the house. He said he called to Rubino to come back, but he didn’t. There was another, “kid” seven feet tall with a half mask on. He ran away, too, Woodly said.
Woodly said the window in the back bedroom, his father’s bedroom, was ripped out of its frame. He said he called police and they came and took pictures of the window.
Court-appointed defense attorney Longstreet asked Woodly if he immediately called 911 and he said he did. She asked if he said the last name of the intruder on the call and he said he couldn’t remember what he said but he didn’t know Rubino’s last name at the time.
Woodly said nothing was taken.
Prosecutor Walker made a motion for Judge Parrott to bind the case over to circuit court and he did, setting the arraignment on the information for 9 a.m., June 25.
Sumpter Township Police Det. John Toth is the lead officer on the case.
Jeremy David McLaughlin
Jeremy David McLaughlin, 25, who had been in jail for 38 days, accepted a plea deal where he pled guilty to receiving stolen property.
A second charge of home invasion second degree was dropped.
He said on May 9 in Van Buren Township he was in possession of a stolen iPad. Judge Parrott ordered restitution of $249 for the scratched iPad and the sentence was time-served. He also will have non-reporting probation for 12 months to keep the restitution on track, Judge Parrott said.
Judge Parrott said if the defendant doesn’t pay the restitution, he will put him in jail for another 58 days.
McLaughlin’s court-appointed attorney Jeffrey Bowdich said there may be some lag time on the restitution, since McLaughlin has a hold on him from another case.
According to court files the amount McLaughlin owed on the last case was $903 as of June 19.
Matthew Biggs, who said his 20th birthday was the next day, was brought from the Wayne County Jail on June 18 and pled guilty to domestic violence.
The plea deal he accepted dropped charges of being a minor with alcohol and failure to report a property damage accident.
He told Judge Parrott that at about 6:30 p.m. June 1 in Van Buren Township he and Amanda, the mother of his child, got into an argument. He said he was drinking and she claims he hit her, “and I’m not going to call her a liar.”
“There’s a high probability she’s telling the truth,” said Judge Parrott and Biggs replied, “A chance, sir.”
Judge Parrott asked if he had ever been charged with assaultive behavior before and Biggs said in Florida last year he got in a fight. He and his father had an argument and police thought Matthew was the aggressor. But, after investigation the charges were dropped. Also, police thought he was drinking, “But, I wasn’t. I blew zero.”
Judge Parrott said Biggs already has spent 18 days in jail and he will be released with fees to pay and a directive to attend the court’s batterer’s counseling program. Judge Parrott also changed the “no contact” directive to “no assaultive contact.”
Judge Parrott also told him to use no alcohol and there will be spot tests. “You’re not old enough to drink. You shouldn’t be drinking,” Judge Parrott said.
Elizabeth S. Chamberlain
Elizabeth S. Chamberlain, 33, waived her right to a preliminary exam and Judge Parrott bound her over for an arraignment on the information at circuit court on July 2. She is charged with home invasion, second degree, on Rose Blvd.
VBT Det. McCarthy is the lead officer on the case.
Samuel Maurice Banks
Samuel Maurice Banks, 32, who is trying to get into veterans’ court in another district court had his preliminary exam adjourned for six weeks, to July 30.
“We do want to try to help out a veteran,” said Judge Parrott, but, “This is the final adjournment. I really mean it this time.”
On May 28, Judge Parrott adjourned the preliminary exam until June 18 to give court-appointed attorney Bowdich time to get Banks into the special court. But, Bowdich said it taking longer than expected.
Banks is facing charges of assault by strangulation and domestic violence, from a March 3 incident.
Bowdich said this matter could be referred to 36th or 17th district court, where they have veterans’ courts. Banks is receiving counseling at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Detroit.
Devin Kent Ruiz
The preliminary exam for Devin Kent Ruiz, 19, of Van Buren Township, set for June 18 was adjourned by Judge Parrott until July 23 so Ruiz’ attorney could get the evidence he had requested. He said it is coming soon.
Ruiz had been arraigned June 4, but he waived the 14-day rule so his attorney could gather more evidence.
Ruiz was arrested Sunday, June 1, on northbound I-275 at South Huron Road by Huron Township officers Robert Kelch and Craig Brna who were conducting traffic stops for speed enforcement. Police say Ruiz had more than $49,000 cash and a large amount of suspected marijuana in his car.
He was charged with delivery / manufacture of marijuana, a four-year felony. He is being held on $500,000 or 10% bond.
By Rosemary K. Otzman