The probable cause conference at 34th District Court for Timothy Eugene Moore, 34, of Ohio, was adjourned until Nov. 25 because there was disagreement about which defense attorney would represent the murder suspect.
Moore is charged with the June 22, 2017 first-degree murder of Egypt Covington in Van Buren Township, along with home invasion, and six weapon charges.
The charges were brought by the Michigan State Police. Officer in charge is MSP Detective/Sergeant James Plummer.
On Nov. 18, Moore was brought before 34th District Court Judge Brian A. Oakley, by Zoom, from the Wayne County Jail where he is being held without bond.
The court session was later in the day than expected because the first time Wayne County Sheriff Deputy B. Porzondek tried to get him to the Zoom session, he reported Moore had been taken to a medical appointment.
“He’s not available,” said Judge Oakley said to the court. “He went for a medical appointment. I have no idea what that’s about.”
When Moore was available, he was produced by Deputy Porzondek on Zoom.
Kristina Joseph told the judge she had been retained by the defendant, but Blasé Kearney, who was court appointed, was listed as the attorney of record.
Judge Oakley told the defendant there is some confusion on who is representing him, Mr. Kearney or Ms. Joseph.
Joseph said since they were live-streaming the session on You Tube, she would like a private breakout room for the discussion. There were 51 people watching the session via Zoom.
Judge Oakley stopped the live-streaming and put the two attorneys and the judge in a breakout room to discuss Moore’s representation privately. The live-streaming did not resume on that case.
Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor Victoria Shackelford said she also wanted to be put in a breakout room with whoever is representing Moore. She said she had filed two motions and she will bring them up at the probable cause conference.
Later, Judge Oakley announced the probable cause conference will be held at 11 a.m., Nov. 25, before Judge Tina Brooks Green.
The probable cause conference for Joe Stafford’s charge of bank robbery in Belleville was adjourned on Nov. 17 because no discovery had been obtained by the defense attorney. The probable cause conference now is Nov. 25 before Judge Green.
Stafford, 55, of Powder Springs, Georgia, came before Judge Oakley via Zoom from the Wayne County Jail on Nov. 18. He told Judge Oakley that he wanted no attorney and Judge Oakley said on a felony charge a defendant automatically gets an attorney assigned. Assigned defense attorney for Stafford is Samuel Churikian.
Bradley Thomas Bielski
Bradley Thomas Bielski, 42, of Bemis Rd., was set for his preliminary exam before Judge Oakley on Nov. 18. He is charged with home invasion-2nd on Sept. 25 in the city of Belleville.
But his defense attorney Stephanie Farkas from the Neighborhood Defender Service asked that the exam be adjourned until after the New Year because of the increase in COVID-19 cases.
She asked that the judge remove the tether because he has no felony history, has lived in the Belleville for almost his entire life, and currently is unemployed and looking for a job. He said he feels the tether would keep people from hiring him.
Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor Jane Gillis said Bielski had been in trouble a long time ago, from 2006 to 2011, with charges of arson, breaking and entering, and retail fraud, but nothing since then.
He is free on $10,000 personal bond and must stay away from the mobile home park at 745 E. Huron River Dr. (Loza Lane) and its owner Linda LeBlanc. Gillis said he has a connection to LeBlanc, since he is her granddaughter’s boyfriend’s brother.
Judge Oakley agreed to drop the tether, but everything else is the same. The new exam date will be set after the first of the year.
Mathew Thomas Cassel
Jeffrey Ryan Harrington
Co-defendants Mathew Thomas Cassel, 32, of Westland and Jeffrey Ryan Harrington, 35, of Northville, are charged in a case from Dec. 3, 2014, that began in Van Buren Township and ended with the Michigan State Police prosecuting.
Cassel is charged with assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder, assault and battery, felonious assault and two weapons charges. Bond was set at $5,000.
Harrington is charged with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder and assault and bodily, with $5,000 personal bond.
On Nov. 18, the probable cause conference was adjourned because their defense attorney Joanne Pray said she did now have the 911 recording and video discovery. A live exam will be scheduled sometime in the new year. The case is scheduled for review on Feb. 25.
Prosecutor Gillis said the civil litigation in the case has tied the case up for three years and there are a lot of depositions.
Judge Oakley told Pray she might want to file a motion for dismissal since this case has been around so long.
Donte Marki Stenson
Donte Marki Stenson, 29, of Van Buren Township, is charged with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder and domestic violence on Oct. 21 in Van Buren Township. On Nov. 18, his defense attorney Henry Schneider requested a live preliminary exam and Judge Oakley said they would set that after the first of the year. The case is scheduled for review on Feb. 25. Stenson is free on $5,000 personal bond.
Omar Morano Smith
Omar Morano Smith, 39, of Taylor is charged with fleeing police in a vehicle on May 11 in Van Buren Township. He was free on $2,000 personal bond, but failed to appear in court on Sept. 29, so bond of $10,000/10% was set. He said he was hospitalized on Sept. 17 but had no documentation.
He was scheduled for a probable cause conference before 34th District Court Judge Tina Brooks Green on Nov. 9, but failed to appear. Judge Green asked if there was verification he’s at the Salvation Army. His attorney Valerie Albright of Neighborhood Defender Service of Detroit explained he went to the Salvation Army for treatment right from the jail and the officers told her that’s where they delivered him. She said he pled to a misdemeanor on the same event as this VBT charge and, “He’s getting help.” She said she would like to see the charge dismissed.
But Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Lori Mireles-Smith said the police officers do not want the charge dismissed. Judge Green adjourned the preliminary exam until 9 a.m., Jan. 11, and the attorney could be in person and the defendant by Zoom, if necessary.
Avery Lamark Holliman
Avery Lamark Holliman, 23, of Ypsilanti is charged with one charge of assault with intent to murder, one charge of assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder, and two counts of felony firearm on Oct. 12 in Van Buren Township.
Bond is $250,000 cash or surety. Appointed defense attorney is Cheryl Quick of the Neighborhood Defender Service.
At his probable cause conference from the Wayne County Jail via Zoom on Oct. 28 before Judge Green, his conference was adjourned and set for Nov. 18. His file was marked “medical” and referred to pretrial services for a bond recommendation.
On Nov. 18, Quick said she didn’t get the video discovery and Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor Jane Gillis said VBT Officer Mike Long sent it on Nov. 2. The probable cause conference was adjourned to Dec. 2.
Quick said her client has an enlarged heart, had two open-heart surgeries, and needs another, and asked Judge Oakley to reduce the $250,000 cash or surety bond to 10% with a tether.
“I went to the hospital a couple days ago,” Holliman told the judge.
Prosecutor Gillis said this is a very serious case and the pretrial services report recommended no change in the bond. Judge Oakley kept the bond as is.