Dustin Mathew Vermilyea, 35, was bound over to circuit court for an arraignment on the information in a shooting at The Creek bar in Van Buren Township on Oct. 20, 2015.
Vermilyea’s preliminary exam was held May 17 before 34th District Court Chief Judge Tina Brooks Green.
He was charged with assault with intent to murder, assault with a dangerous weapon, larceny from a motor vehicle, weapon in possession of a felon, and using a weapon to commit a felony.
Vermilyea was brought to court from the Central Michigan Correctional Facility in Gratiot County by two officers from the Michigan Department of Corrections. He currently is serving a sentence of 5-8 years on two assault with a dangerous weapon charges from an April 11, 2016 incident.
When Vermilyea was brought before Judge Green from the lockup, there were six police officers in the courtroom keeping close watch on him.
There was one witness called to testify. He said he was playing darts at the Creek Bar and Grill at 50150 W. Huron River Drive when two guys walked into the bar acting suspicious and weird.
The witness said they didn’t order anything. One guy – Vermilyea — stood by the bar and his buddy was walking around looking at things and then walked out. He came back in, exchanged words with his buddy and they walked out.
The witness testified that he could see outside and he saw the buddy crouch down and open a door to a vehicle in the parking lot and enter it. He said he knew it belonged to the guy who lived above the bar, so he went outside.
The buddy had exited the car and was running across the parking lot. The witness said he called out, “What do you think you’re doing? That’s not your vehicle.”
Then, the witness testified, the defendant, who was 40’ from the bar in the long parking lot, turned and shot at the witness. The witness said he saw the flash and heard the shot ricochet off the building about 5’ to 10’ from him.
Then the two took off down Huron River Drive, he said.
He testified the bartender dragged him in and called police, who gave him a photo lineup and he identified the defendant.
Then, Vermilyea’s retained attorney Edward Holmberg cross-examined the witness.
The assistant prosecutor asked for bind overs on charges 1, 2, 4, 5, with the charge on larceny from a motor vehicle dropped. Judge Green bound him over and he is due at the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice on May 31.
There was some discussion about whether to set bond on him, which would put him in the Wayne County Jail while this case proceeds or whether not to set bond and send him back to Gratiot County.
Vermilyea told the judge that he wants to go back to prison while this case proceeds, so the guards took him back.
Jamele Johnathon Belton
Armani Lavel Chivas Karo
Deantwuan Rayshawn Woods
Jamele Johnathon Belton, 18; Armani Lavel Chivas Karo, 18; and Deantwuan Rayshawn Woods, 20, who are charged with entering a home without permission in the 27000 block of Sumpter Road in Sumpter Township on April 29, were set for their preliminary exams on May 17.
The three are charged with home invasion 1st degree. Woods is also charged with assault with intent to murder, assault with intent to harm, assault, weapon in a vehicle, and five counts of felony firearm.
All three are lodged in the Wayne County Jail and were brought to the court lockup but not into the courtroom because the preliminary exam was being adjourned.
Attorney Cliff Woodard said his client Karo didn’t have a record at all and could be let out on personal bond instead of staying in jail on a high bond.
Woodard said the attorneys were asking for an adjournment so that they would have time to study other videos they just got that day from Sumpter as evidence.
Bond reviews had been authorized for all three by Judge Brian Oakley on May 10. Karo is being held on $25,000/10% bond, Belton on $20,000/10% bond, and Woods on $100,000 cash bond.
Sumpter Detective John Toth is the officer in charge of the cases and he told Judge Green that he believed the charge against Karo will be amended to assault with intent to murder.
Belton’s court-appointed attorney Shawn Godwin asked for a reduction of bond for his client, but a woman in the audience informed the judge that Belton has a current open warrant in Wayne County. Godwin backed off of his request.
Judge Green asked what was the story and Detective Toth said there was a group of four, including one juvenile who is being handled by juvenile court. A home invasion escalated. They kicked in the front door. The lady comes home and tries to get their license number and their car is coming from the back toward her and a gun is put out the back window and Wood shoots at her.
“My client didn’t go in the house,” Woodard said of Karo.
Judge Green said she would not change the bond because she would not be hearing the case. She made sure “pretrial services” was put on the file so bond could be looked at.
She set the preliminary exams on the three for 10 a.m., May 31, before Judge Oakley