By Diane Madigan
Independent Court Reporter
Domestic violence charges dominated Judge Brian Oakley’s Feb. 19 courtroom docket at 34th District Court in Romulus. One very-involved case was from Sumpter Township and three from Van Buren Township.
Brandon Akers, 26, of Sumpter Township was arrested Dec. 6, 2013 for domestic violence, misdemeanor assault and battery, and driving without a license. The Dec. 6 charges violated his November 2012, three-year probation sentence for receiving and concealing firearms.
Being brought to 34th District Court in street clothes from jail, Akers stood near his court-appointed attorney Jeffrey Bowdich for his preliminary examination. Akers accepted a plea deal that had been worked out between Bowdich and Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor Carrie Butorac. Akers pled guilty to domestic violence and misdemeanor assault and battery with a dismissed charge of driving without a valid driver’s license.
Butorac told Judge Oakley that Akers had been sending letters from jail and they wish the no-contact order to remain.
In pleading guilty to the charges, Akers admitted he drove a vehicle in Sumpter while his license was suspended and put his hand on his loved ones and shouldn’t have. Butorac also added he violated probation for a 2012 felony firearms charge.
During the sentencing phase Bowdich said Akers should get credit for 72 days of time served. The complainants were in the courtroom.
Judge Oakley asked if the victims would like to give a statement. Akers’ girlfriend April approached the bench and said she just wants Akers to get help with his problems.
Akers’ mother Yvonne said her son has had problems for most of his life. Every time he gets out of jail he hurts people or property and he once tried to hang himself. She is fearful for his safety and also for the safety of his two children, ages 5 and 7.
She also said he takes drugs and gets violent and has been unable to function on his own and needs help. He takes Xanax and Vicodin and smokes crack.
Akers denied taking Xanax and Oxycontin. He said he was recently incarcerated for one year and had a chance to see himself sober and saw his kids when he was sober. He said he was drug-free for 10 months, then got a script for Xanax from a doctor.
Akers said he was laid off in 2011 and was recently working for a construction company and got fired.
Judge Oakley said, “You survived all those months without drugs. You don’t need Xanax, you need a job. The ladies think you need help and want you in an inpatient facility”.
Akers was adamant that he wants to “do it on his own”.
Judge Oakley said, “No, No. I don’t think you can do that. That’s what addicts do, they rationalize irrational behavior.”
Judge Oakley said he wants to send Akers to jail so his family can sleep at night. He also doesn’t want the taxpayers to be feeding him.
Judge Oakley referred Akers to the 34th District Court probation department to look at the family situation and the victim’s wish for inpatient treatment. He said he would sentence Akers in a couple of weeks.
Akers was taken back to lock-up
Gregory Davon Peques
Court-appointed attorney Bowdich explained that Gregory Davon Peques, 22, had a domestic violence trial scheduled for the day but the Prosecutor Butorac had a lengthy discussion with the victim who did not wish to proceed. Peques was arrested in Van Buren Township. Judge Oakley dismissed the case
David Gerald Kass
David Gerald Kass, 33, was another defendant in a VBT domestic violence case. Kass’ preliminary examination was adjourned/postponed until he could get an attorney
John Knox, another defendant in a VBT domestic violence case, appeared before Judge Oakley. Oakley asked him if he is working. He answered No and said he didn’t have any money. Judge Oakley appointed Bowdich as his attorney and rescheduled the preliminary exam for Feb. 26.
Jamal Montieth Avery
Three counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct charges against Jamal Montieth Avery, 32, of Belleville were dismissed after Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor Carole Murray advised the court that she was unable to produce the alleged victim after several phone calls and going out to two other locations.
The charges were filed 2.5 years ago. Murray moved to dismiss and Judge Oakley granted the dismissal without prejudice. A dismissal “without prejudice” allows a prosecutor to re-file the same charge arising from the same incident against the same defendant again.
Belleville Police Cpl. Todd Schrecengost was the officer on record.
Joseph Halton, 45, charged with retail fraud in VBT, arrived at 34th District Court in street clothes after being transported from the Gus Harrison Correctional Facility in Adrian.
Halton has a long history of retail fraud and unarmed robbery in Washtenaw and Wayne counties. Halton’s preliminary exam was adjourned/postponed until Feb. 26.