Kim Merrill Hartwell, 56, of Belleville was bound over to circuit court to face charges of assault with a dangerous weapon and domestic violence after allegedly threatening and holding a gun to the head of his wheelchair-bound wife on Jan. 25.
After a preliminary exam at 34th District Court on Feb. 18, Judge Brian A. Oakley bound him over for a March 4 arraignment on the information at the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice.
Two other charges of felon in possession of a weapon and felony firearm were dismissed.
Hartwell is out on a $1,000 personal recognizance bond.
Hartwell’s court appointed attorney David Lankford told Judge Oakley that Hartwell wanted to waive his felonious assault charge and go on to circuit court with that. He stated the other charges are misdemeanors.
Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor Danielle Strace said the people wanted to drop the felon in possession and felony firearm. The weapon decision had to do with the barrel being smooth rather than textured.
But Hartwell said he wanted a hearing.
So Belleville Police Officer Jeff Wickham took his place next to Prosecutor Strace and the preliminary exam began.
There was only one witness, the defendant’s wife Tonaraw Hartwell, who was pushed to the witness stand in a wheelchair.
She said on Jan. 25 in their home in the 200 block of Aberdeen in Belleville, her husband took her uncle’s car and was gone for six or seven hours. When he returned, she said she asked him where he had been for so long and he started yelling and screaming and walking around with a gun.
She said he made verbal abuse of her, saying terrible things to her, and pointed the gun at her. She said she was sitting in her wheelchair in the living room.
“I just had a heart attack and stroke and can’t do things I used to do,” Tonaraw said. “He talked about what I used to be able to do. He said he should shoot me in the face.”
She said he went on like this for several hours. She said she has a speaker phone and tried to call for help, but he pulled it out of the wall.
Finally, her two daughters came in and he said he “should kill all of us,” Tonaraw said.
Defense attorney Lankford said that Hartwell was waving a gun at her and was loud and rude.
Tonaraw said he was pointing the gun to her face, threatening her, and making insulting comments.
When Prosecutor Strace asked if he touched her with the gun, Tonaraw said, “The gun touched my forehead.”
Strace made the motion to bind Hartwell over to the higher court on a charge of assault with a dangerous weapon and the domestic violence misdemeanor.
Judge Oakley agreed and Hartwell was bound over.
Hartwell has been in trouble with the law before and in 1993 was sentenced to two years of probation for carrying a concealed weapon. Then he had a probation violation and spent six months in the Wayne County Jail. He still owes $180 of the fees levied for that case.
Hartwell also had at least three paternity suits in civil court for not paying child support and was ordered to pay on all three.
Deandre Cortez Williams
Deandre Cortez Williams, 27, waived his preliminary exam on charges of carrying a concealed weapon and driving while license suspended, 2nd, before Judge Oakley.
The incident occurred on Feb. 8 in Van Buren Township. Detective McCarthy was on hand at the court for the case.
Williams was out after posting bond of $5,000 or 10%. Bond was continued and Williams was directed to be at the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice on March 4.
Ryan Anthony Jones
Ryan Anthony Jones is facing a charge of aggravated assault. Judge Oakley pointed out he has been in court three times. The domestic violence incident was Oct. 8, 2014.
Jones’ retained attorney said it’s his fault because he had surgery in December and was off for many weeks. The attorney asked for an adjournment until April 1 and Judge Oakley allowed it, but said there would be no further postponements.
Jones was arraigned and a court officer was sent out to find Belleville Officer Wickham, who was elsewhere in the courthouse, to comment on bond. Wickham read the report and recommended $400 bond. After Wickham left the courtroom Judge Oakley said the records show Wickham recommended no bond last fall.
Judge Oakley set personal bond, which requires no money, and told Jones not to harm or harass the lady in question.
Anthony David Kersey
Anthony David Kersey pled guilty to domestic violence and his sentence was deferred for nine months. If there are no further problems, the charge will be dropped.
Kersey told Judge Oakley that on Feb. 6 in Van Buren Township there was an altercation and he pushed his girlfriend. She was in the courtroom and asked the judge to drop the no-contact provision. Judge Oakley changed it to no assaultive contact.
He said he has lived on the Service Drive for six months.
“I’m not a violent person,” Kersey said. “It’s just something that happened.”
Kersey was ordered to pay a fine of $750 and spend four days on the work program.