The live preliminary exam for three defendants in the June 22, 1917 murder of Egypt Covington in Van Buren Township began Monday morning, March 22, before 34th District Court Judge Tina Brooks Green.
The preliminary exam was scheduled for March 22, 23, and 25. At the end, Judge Green will decide whether there is cause to bind any, or all, of them over to circuit court for trial.
Present in the courtroom on Monday were defendants Timothy Eugene Moore, Shandon R Groom, Shane Lamar Evans and their attorneys, two prosecutors, Officer in Charge Michigan State Police Det./Sgt. Plummer, two court officers, the judge and her clerk, and witnesses who were brought one by one into the courtroom by way of the jury room. Masks were worn, plastic barricades had been erected, and people were staying as far apart as they could.
Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor Victoria Shackelford said she expected to call 16 witnesses for the exam.
Watching the exam via YouTube on Monday morning were 468 people.
Joe Stafford, 55, a resident of Georgia, was before Judge Michael J. Gerou at 35th District Court in Plymouth on Friday via Zoom from the Wayne County Jail to face a charge of robbing the Chase bank on Michigan Avenue in Canton Township on Nov. 5.
His court-appointed attorney Samuel Churikian said his client wished to waive his preliminary exam and Stafford was bound over to Wayne County Circuit Court at the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice for an arraignment on the information on March 26.
Stafford’s bond had been set at $250,000/10% by Judge Gerou.
Stafford has been incarcerated since his arrest on Nov. 7 in Belleville for robbing the Chase bank on Main Street. On March 3 he waived a preliminary exam on that charge at 34th District Court and his arraignment on the information was held March 10 at Frank Murphy Hall of Justice.
A calendar conference was set for March 31 before Circuit Court Judge Kelly Ramsey.
Stafford’s bond for the Belleville robbery charge was set at $10,000/10%.
Lamarcus Anderson Antwan Anderson-Campbell of Toledo had his probable cause conference on a charge of first-degree retail fraud on March 6 in Van Buren Township adjourned until April 14. Defense attorney Natalie Phelps said she has not received the digital discovery yet from the Van Buren Township Police.
Andre Harris of Detroit had his probable cause conference adjourned until April 21 on charges of deliver/manufacture controlled substance (schedule 1,2,3 except marijuana and cocaine) and deliver/manufacture controlled substance (schedule 4) on Dec. 3, 2009 in Van Buren Township. Judge Oakley arraigned him on this old case and set his personal bond at $5,000. Defense attorney Brandy Robinson of Neighborhood Defender Service said she has received no discovery yet.
Kaprice Daney Parker
Kaprice Daney Parker of Westland was scheduled for a preliminary exam on March 17 on a charge of breaking and entering a vehicle with damage to vehicle on Aug. 10, 2019 in Van Buren Township.
Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor Jane Gillis said after reading the report she made a motion to dismiss the charge and Judge Oakley dismissed the charge. Defense attorney was Claude Chapman. Parker had been free on $2,500 personal bond.
Kevin Edward Litteral
Kevin Edward Litteral, 43, of Ypsilanti, is facing charges of operating while intoxicated-3rd and driving while license suspended-2nd on March 5 in Van Buren Township.
Court-appointed attorney Brandy Robinson said there is a discovery issue, so at the March 17 court session before Judge Oakley, the probable cause conference was adjourned to April 7.
It was stated that Litteral said he wants to hire an attorney. He is free on $5,000 personal bond.
Marcus Lee Shaffer
Marcus Lee Shaffer, 25, had his probable cause conference adjourned until April 7, when he will face charges of assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder and domestic violence on Feb. 24 in Van Buren Township.
His defense attorney Blasé Kearney of the Neighborhood Defender Service said he is attempting to get the video discovery. Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor Darrian Fortier said there is a lot to redact.
Judge Oakley pointed out that Shaffer has three other Van Buren Township cases that have a March 18 probable cause conference.
Darius Dequan Logwood
Darius Dequan Logwood, 26, was scheduled for a preliminary exam before Judge Oakley on March 10, but instead charges were dropped. Logwood was charged with entry without breaking with intent, larceny in a building, and stealing/retaining without consent a financial transaction device on Aug. 5 in Van Buren Township.
Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor Jane Gillis said the court website had been down and the Van Buren Police didn’t have the court dockets so the officer that needed to testify couldn’t be there.
Defense attorney Nancy Richards made the motion to dismiss and Judge Oakley approved the motion. The charges may be refiled in the future.
Ellis Edward Shropshire
Ellis Edward Shropshire, 21, was before Judge Oakley on March 10 and the judge adjourned his probable cause conference until April 28. Shropshire’s defense attorney Jeff Osment said he sent a letter to the state gun board and is waiting for a reply.
Shropshire is charged with carrying a concealed weapon and driving while license suspended on Feb. 23 in Van Buren Township.
Keenan Deshon Black
Judge Oakley set an in-person preliminary exam for June 2 for Keenan Deshon Black, 41, of Taylor on a charge of embezzlement by an agent or trustee of from $1,000 to $20,000 on Jan. 3, 2020 in Van Buren Township.
He is free on $2,500 personal bond. His defense attorney is Cheryl Quick.
Wade Riley Miles
A Zoom preliminary exam was set for May 3 for Wade Riley Miles, 32, of Sumpter Township, who is charged with assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder and domestic violence on Feb. 14 in Sumpter Township. Miles was before Judge Oakley on March 10 for his probable cause conference.
His retained defense attorney Jonathan Jones wanted more time to look at the evidence. Miles is free after posting bond of $5,000/10%. Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor Darrian Fortier is prosecuting the case.
Toni Gail Clark
Toni Gail Clark, 66, of Sumpter Township was before Judge Martin via Zoom on March 11 for a scheduled pretrial on a misdemeanor charge of filing a false report of a misdemeanor at 9:05 p.m. at the Sumpter Township polls at the Community Center on Primary Election day, Aug. 4.
At a Jan. 7 court hearing, Sumpter Township Prosecutor Rob Young explained that since the date of the incident, Clark has accepted employment as Deputy Treasurer of Sumpter Township. Since he is the township attorney he said he would get another prosecutor to proceed with the case if it was not settled by Jan. 21. On March 11, Van Buren Township prosecutor Angela Mannarino stood in for Young.
Judge Martin asked if the Jan. 7 offer from Young in the file was still good and she was told it was. Mannarino asked for an adjournment of the pretrial so a resolution could be sought.
Judge Martin adjourned the case until 9:40 a.m., April 8, before Judge Green.
At the beginning of the March 11 session, Judge Martin disclosed that she knows Clark, but never had a meal with her. It is a social acquaintance, casually, she said.
“It won’t impact any decision I make this morning,” Judge Martin said.
Clark’s retained defense attorney is John O. Knappmann. Officer in charge of the case is Sumpter Public Safety Director/Police Chief Eric Luke who filed the charge on Sept. 29.
Kojuan Jamel Quiles
On Feb. 24, Kojuan Jamel Quiles, 47, of Van Buren Township had his Zoom preliminary exam set for March 19 by Judge Martin.
Quiles was charged with assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder, assault with a dangerous weapon (felonious assault), and domestic violence on Dec. 26 in Van Buren Township.
Prosecutor Fortier said a plea deal offer has been made in the case. Defense attorney was Kristine Longstreet. Quiles was free after posting $2,500 surety bond. His bond was on the condition he have no contact with the victim or his home on Bog Road.
On March 19, the complaining witness failed to appear for the exam and so defense attorney Longstreet made a motion to dismiss the case and Judge Martin dismissed all counts in the case.
The complainant’s phone was no longer in service and her landlord said she had moved Down South.
Lillie Lee Heard
Lillie Lee Heard, 40, of Van Buren Township had her probable cause conference adjourned for 30 days – until March 24 — so her co-defendant can be apprehended. Then the two can go through the steps of the case together.
Heard is charged with home invasion first degree, malicious destruction of property between $200 and $1,000 in value, and two counts of aggravated assault on Sept. 22 in Van Buren Township. She is free on $5,000 personal bond.
Heard also was charged with a misdemeanor charge of assault and battery on the same day, but that was dismissed on a motion of the township attorney on Oct. 30.
Prosecutor Gillis said Heard’s co-defendant Kevin Joseph Bonam, 43, has a warrant out for his arrest on the same charges but has not been arraigned. Gillis said she will ask the officer in charge to pick him up.
Michael Jermine Stone
Michael Jermine Stone, 40, of Van Buren Township had his in-person exam set for May 11 on charges of domestic violence third offense and assaulting/resisting/obstructing a police officer on Jan. 18 in Van Buren Township.
He was before Judge Martin on Feb. 24 for his probable cause conference.
Stone’s bond is $10,000/10% and he is to have no contact with the victim or his home address on Parkwood.
Aaron Sellers, 38, of Van Buren Township, was before Judge Martin on Feb. 24 to face a charge of violation of the Marine Safety Act at 8:20 p.m., July 3, 2020 on Belleville Lake.
The civil infraction ticket was written by Wayne County Sheriff’s Deputy Brent Mytych, who testified at the Zoom hearing, along with Conservation Officer Luther and Reserve Deputy Conflittie.
Officer Luther testified that he observed a red and black vessel between the pontoons making a large wake in a no-wake zone and being less than 100 feet from the moored pontoons and family boats.
Reserve Conflittie said they were holding a perimeter for the fireworks and he observed a red vessel between the pontoons, making a wake.
Deputy Mytych, who wrote the citation, said that craft have to stay more than 100 feet from anchored boats and Sellers didn’t, making a large wake and cutting in and out.
Sellers said the pontoons did not appear to be anchored and they had no anchor lights. Deputy Mytych said anchor lights are only required after dusk and it wasn’t after dusk.
“I’m a very safe boater,” Sellers testified. He said he has been on Belleville Lake for ten years and he knows the rules. He told how he had been out on the lake all day with his family wake-boarding and went to Sandy’s Marina for fuel before heading west again. Boats were gathering for the fireworks. His daughter was wake-boarding and he explained in detail how he had to make sure his daughter was not injured and he went back to get her.
He said it was a dangerous situation and the boats shouldn’t have been gathering that early for the 10 p.m. fireworks and creating a traffic jam.
Judge Martin said she listened to the testimony of the officers and Sellers. She found Sellers responsible and fined him $80. He asked if this brought points on his driving record and he was told there are no points for violation of the Marine Safety Act on the water.
Gene Laroy Carrier, Jr.
Gene Laroy Carrier, Jr., 59, of Van Buren Township was before Judge Martin by Zoom for his probable cause conference on March 3. His attorney Scott Weinberg asked the judge to adjourn the probable cause conference and she set the adjourned conference for 9:40 a.m., March 24, before Judge Green.
Carrier is facing a charge of assault with a dangerous weapon (felonious assault) on Oct. 27 in the city of Belleville.
Ethan Michael Ryal
Ethan Michael Ryal of Sumpter Township was arraigned by Magistrate Alan Hindman on March 3 by Zoom from the Huron Township lockup. He is charged with assault and battery on Feb. 28 in Sumpter. His bond was set at $3,000 personal and his pretrial set for April 28 before Judge Oakley.
Sumpter Township Officer Rodriguez had asked for bond of $1,000/10%, but Magistrate Hindman said that was a trivial amount and went along with the request of court-appointed attorney Leanna Belcher for personal bond.
Ryal is to stay away from his grandfather, the complainant, with whom he lived and either live with his mother or his uncle. Belcher said Ryal has a job in Belleville.
Roger Frank Kerr
Roger Frank Kerr, 56, of Sumpter Township, was due for his live, preliminary exam before Judge Martin on March 3. He was charged with assault with a dangerous weapon (felonious assault) and weapons (felony firearm) on April 26 in Sumpter.
Officer in charge Det./Sgt. John Toth was present by Zoom.
When the case was called, attorney Scott Wyatt announced his appearance on behalf of the alleged victim.
Prosecutor Jane Gillis said that Wyatt’s client was out in the hallway waiting to testify because he was subpoenaed, but Wyatt has said his client should take the Fifth Amendment.
Gillis said without the witness testifying, the People cannot proceed. Kerr’s attorney Joseph A. Simon made a motion to dismiss the charges and Judge Martin dismissed the charges.
David Mark Parrott
A jury trial has been set before 35th District Court Judge James A. Plakas in Plymouth at 8:30 a.m. June 10 for David Mark Parrott, 60, of Van Buren Township. Parrott is charged with domestic violence on Feb. 8, 2020 in Van Buren Township.
The case was moved to 35th District Court to prevent a conflict of interest since Parrott at the time was a judge at 34th District Court which serves Van Buren Township. The case has been delayed by corona virus adjournments.
James Forrest Chapman
James Forrest Chapman, 61, who lists a Belleville Post Office box as his address, at a March 18 pretrial appearance by phone asked Judge Oakley for a jury trial on a misdemeanor charge of being a disorderly person at 2:22 p.m., Jan. 30, in the city of Belleville.
Belleville Prosecutor Shone Nolan had offered Chapman a plea deal, where if he pled guilty to the charge there would be a six-month delay in sentencing. If he stayed out of trouble and had no further arrests this charge would be dismissed.
“I’ll give a counter-offer,” Chapman replied, saying the charge ought to be dismissed.
“I was at the breaker box identifying a blown circuit, nowhere in public,” he said. “Any power intermission was momentary. There was no criminal intent.”
Chapman asked for a live jury trial.
Prosecutor Nolan said the Belleville police report reads differently, so they can go to trial.
Judge Oakley said the court is not setting jury dates yet, but he will put this case on the list.
“You can leave it hanging until COVID is over,” Chapman said.
Judge Oakley asked if Chapman was proceeding without benefit of counsel and Chapman replied that once they get the court date he will avail himself of a court-appointed attorney.
Judge Oakley said the court policy is to set another pretrial once the trial is set and, “I have no idea when that will be.” He estimated it would be at least a month until they start setting dates.
Marcus Dewayne Hopkins
Marcus Dewayne Hopkins, 33, of Ypsilanti was arraigned by Judge Martin on Friday by video after he was picked up by the Michigan State Police on warrants and held at the Romulus Police Department.
His bond was set at $5,000/10% by Judge Martin and a probable cause conference set for March 31 before Judge Green for four charges from April 2, 2020 in Sumpter Township: controlled substance delivery / manufacture-methamphetamine; controlled substance – deliver/manufacture narcotic or cocaine less than 50 grams; fleeing police in a vehicle; and assaulting / resisting / obstructing a police officer.
He also was arraigned on four charges from Sept. 16, 2017 brought through the Michigan State Police for identity theft, forgery of license documents/plates, driving while license suspended / revoked / denied – 2nd, and operating without security.
Bond on those charges was set by Judge Martin at $5,000 personal and the probable cause conference will also be held March 31 before Judge Green.