Following a preliminary exam on Feb. 14, 34th District Court Chief Judge Tina Brooks Green bound over Christopher Michael Remus, 47, to circuit court for an arraignment on the information on Feb. 28.
After the victim testified, Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor Phebie Longnecker said she was dismissing five of the nine original counts, but moving forward with the felony charges of felonious assault and weapons felony firearm, with the misdemeanors of domestic violence and reckless use of weapon.
The victim testified that on Jan. 13 she was at the Elwell Road home of Remus, who was her boyfriend. She said she and her year-old son had been staying with Remus and his 11-year-old son for seven months.
She testified there was a verbal argument that turned physical when she was packing up her belongings to leave. She said he grabbed her by the sweatshirt neck, ripping it, and held her against the door frame.
She testified he said if she called police he would put a bullet in her head. She said she knew he was intoxicated.
She said the police report said he grabbed her throat, but that wasn’t true. She said the red mark on her throat was caused by her necklace that rubbed against her throat when he grabbed her sweatshirt.
The victim testified that Remus said he could shoot her because he had nothing to lose.
She said she told him that his son was standing there watching, and he let her go. She went and got her child and came back into the kitchen and Remus was there, with a handgun on the island in the kitchen.
“I told him to go put his gun away and he went to the bedroom and put it on the bed,” she said, adding she reached around him and grabbed the gun. She said she unloaded it and set it down. But, he reloaded it and came back out to the kitchen with it, she said.
“I was putting my bags on the porch and he picked up the gun and waved the gun back and forth, saying, “Get out.”
“I got out. I knew he was intoxicated,” she said.
She said she had contacted two friends. When she left the house she backed into the church parking lot across the road and when her friends arrived they backed into the Remus driveway, so she returned in her car. She said she was getting her things from the porch, when Remus said, “Hey, Mark. What’s up buddy?” addressing one of her friends. Then he said, “I’m tired of being cheated on,” and she heard a gunshot, maybe two.
That’s when she got in her car and drove up to the corner where she put her baby in the car seat and then drove to the Van Buren Township police station. She said she told them Remus fired a gun and assaulted her.
She said she got a text message from the phone of Remus’ son, which she believes Remus sent. She testified it said, “I should have aimed.”
Under cross-examination by defense attorney Lowell Friedman, she said when Remus was waving the gun around, she felt fear for her son because of what Remus had said earlier about shooting her in the head. She said she didn’t actually see him reloading the gun.
“I don’t think he would intentionally ever do that to me or my son,” she said. “I knew he was intoxicated.”
Judge Green said, “… but you weren’t going to stick around and find out,” and the victim agreed.
“Alcohol and a weapon were involved,” Judge Green said.
Under cross-examination by Friedman, the victim said she didn’t know if the gun was shot in the air and she didn’t see him with the gun, just heard the sound. She said she was almost to the cab of the truck, 10-20 yards away, when she heard the shot.
She said she and Remus had been drinking and she had three beers and a small drink out of a Fireball.
Judge Green said they were lucky no one was hit, especially with the alcohol involved. She said it was an issue for a jury to decide.
“He did end up shooting,” Prosecutor Longnecker added.
Judge Green continued the $5,000 personal recognizance bond and the order to have no contact with the victim.
VBT Det. Mike Long was the officer in charge of the case.
Randy Davon Gray
Randy Davon Gray, 46, had his probable cause conference adjourned for three weeks, as requested by his court-appointed attorney David Lankford, who wanted to work something out with the prosecutor.
Gray is charged with operating while intoxicated-third and driving while license suspended-second in Belleville on Sept. 10.
Lankford said his client only had two previous charges and that was 24 and 25 years ago. He said he wanted to see if the prosecutor would reduce the charges to misdemeanors.
There was mention of the Sobriety Court and Judge Green said the prosecutors know she doesn’t want a felony charge to push somebody into a misdemeanor. And as far as the Sobriety Court goes, “I pick people who I think will be successful, not them.”
“He was good all these years and then fell off [the wagon],” Lankford explained.
Daniel Lavall Walton
Daniel Lavall Walton, 37, waived his preliminary exam by video from the Wayne County Jail where he is being held on $20,000/10% bond. He is scheduled to be at circuit court on Feb. 21 for an arraignment on the information.
Walton is charged with operating while intoxicated-third and driving while license suspended-second in Belleville on March 19.