Micaiah Carlin Minor, 17, of Canton Township, was due for a probable cause conference before 34th District Court Judge Tina Brooks Green on July 24.
Minor is charged with second-degree murder in the death of John Robert McElreath, 64, of Van Buren Township on May 7 in VBT.
It is alleged that Minor, an unlicensed driver, was driving southbound on Belleville Road at a high rate of speed, when he disregarded a red light at Ecorse, crossed over the double-yellow line and drove into northbound traffic, striking the victim in his car. McElreath died from his injuries in the crash.
The probable cause conference was adjourned until Sept. 4 before Judge Green. He is free on a tether after posting $50,000/10% bond. His retained attorney is David Cripps.
Retired Judge Terrance Bronson of Monroe was filling in for Judge Green on July 24.
Darien Noel Fickling
Darien Noel Fickling, 49, of Romulus was bound over to circuit court for trial on charges having to do with allegedly assaulting a jogger in the Oakwoods Metropark in Huron Township on June 6, 2017.
He is due at the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice on Aug. 7. He is also set for counseling and testing for sexually transmitted disease.
Fickling is charged with kidnapping, unarmed robbery, assault with intent to commit criminal sexual conduct, and assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder.
When he appeared before Judge Brian Oakley on June 8, 2017, he said, “I know I did wrong,” which was broadcast by channel 2 television. He was arrested the same day as the assault, and he was holding the victim’s phone.
On July 24, Fickling’s court-appointed attorney John McWilliams and his client appeared before Judge Bronson, who was filling in for Judge Green. He said there were several open issues and some would be preserved for circuit court.
He said there is an issue of competency and Fickling has been in an institution for some time by order of the court. He was found incompetent to face trial and then found competent.
The victim testified how she was running the trails connected to the Metropark when she encountered an Afro-American man on a red bike. She said she waved to acknowledge him and kept on running in a trail in a wooded area. He rode past her twice and then was waiting by a tree. She said she checked her watch and saw it was 3 p.m. and she should go home, so she turned around. That’s when she was jumped from the rear, she testified.
She said he tackled her, punched her face repeatedly, and she was screaming for help. She said he told her to stop or he would kill her. She said she was fighting back and he tried to pull her pants down, but she was wearing Underarmor with biker shorts, which is a tight fit, and he was unsuccessful. He took her cell phone and ran to the wooded path, she testified.
She said she ran to the closest house, which was peach-colored, but no one was home. She ran to a gray house, where she heard a dog barking, and a woman answered the door, grabbed her gun, and then called 911. The woman gave her a rag to wipe her face, she testified. She turned over the clothes she was wearing to the police and the test results for DNA on the black shorts and her two rings that had been taken. The tests were submitted as evidence by Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor David Champine.
Fickling is free on a tether and in the care of his brother after posting bond of $100,000.
Brian Keith Courtney, Jr.
Brian Keith Courtney, Jr., 31, had his preliminary exam held before Judge Bronson on July 24 on charges of assault with intent to do great physical harm less than murder and domestic violence in Sumpter Township at around 8:30 a.m. July 7.
After the alleged victim testified she wasn’t actually assaulted and when he put his hands around her neck it was part of the different sex life they have and this is normal for them. She said they had been out on the lake all day and they were dehydrated and she wasn’t sure if he threatened her and she was confused and it may have been all a dream. She has PTSD from a childhood incident, she said, and sometimes she gets upset.
In questioning her, Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Larry King asked her if she has a pending case in Ohio and she said yes. And, the defendant’s father is a victim in that case, and the answer was yes. “And if you drop these charges, the other case is dismissed?” King asked, and she replied, “Absolutely not.”
And, there is a case in Florida, King said. “Was that case fabricated, as well?”
Judge Bronson said he was not going to bind this over for trial because the prosecution will be unable to prove the case, since the victim denied all assault.
But, King asked the judge to allow him to put two more witnesses on the stand – the woman who picked up the victim who was crying and saying her boyfriend was trying to kill her and the police officer who talked to the victim.
King called Allison Young who testified she was driving her truck on Willow Road with her two-year-old child in the vehicle when she saw a woman coming out of the ditch, all wet, wearing just a bra and short panties, waving her arms. She turned her vehicle around and went back to the woman. “She was frantic, disheveled and she said, ‘Help, my boyfriend is trying to kill me.’
“I backed up and saw a man in shorts running toward a truck and she said, ‘That’s him.’ I put the truck in gear and I floored it…”
She said she turned down the first dirt road, Haggerty, and called 911 and she was directed to the Huron Police Department. She thought she saw the truck following them.
The last witness was Sumpter Police Sgt. Elizabeth Egerer who testified she took the statement from Courtney, who lived in the 42000 block of Willow Rd. He said he woke up and didn’t know where his girlfriend was. He said he had an argument with her about her going back to Florida.
Sgt. Egerer said the victim told her Courtney open-slapped her face eight or nine times and put both hands around her neck, strangling her. She said she had jaw pain from the slapping or the strangulation.
Sgt. Egerer testified Huron Valley Ambulance came out and treated the victim on the scene and then took her to St. Joseph Hospital for further treatment.
Judge Bronson called Prosecutor King and defense attorney Hordos into his office to discuss the case in private. After eight minutes they all returned to the courtroom and Prosecutor King made the motion to bind over to circuit court for trial. He said the witness may have motivation to lie. In Florida she also claimed to fabricate the charge, he said.
King said while some cases are a situation of “he said, she said,” this case is a “she said, she also said.”
The defense attorney Hordos said this was a waste of judicial and the People’s resources and that the misdemeanor domestic violence charge will be back to 34th District Court for a pretrial once the assault charge is dismissed at circuit court.
“This is the first time in 30 years as a judge that I ever had she said, she also said, which changes testimony from the time around the event to later,” Judge Bronson said.
“Against my better judgment, I’ll bind the matter over and if you choose to appeal me, it doesn’t matter to me,” he said to the defense attorney. “The prosecutor has his work cut out for him.”
The arraignment on the information at the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice was set for Aug. 7.
At the request of the prosecutor, Judge Bronson set a personal bond on the witness to ensure her appearance in court.
Although part of the $10,000 conditional bond posted by the defendant directed him not to have any direct or indirect contact with the victim, after the court session, the defendant drove his truck onto Wayne Road and stopped at the light, where the victim got into his vehicle and they drove off together.
Christopher Michael Jarrett
Christopher Michael Jarrett, 31, was scheduled for his preliminary exam on July 24, but it was adjourned to Aug. 14. Jarrett is charged with three counts of ethnic intimidation and three counts of assault and battery on July 4 in Van Buren Township.
He is free after posting bond. His retained attorney is Sanford Schulman.
Winston Robert Larry
The preliminary exam for Winston Robert Larry, 51, was set for Aug. 14 by Judge Bronson at the request of court-appointed attorney Jonathan Hordos. Larry is charged with retail fraud on Dec. 17, 2016 in Van Buren Township.