34th District Court Judge Tina Brooks Green presided over a preliminary exam on Monday morning that was held in person with masks, personal distancing, and plastic barriers.
This was a step forward for the court which had not been holding exams at all since the coronavirus struck in March and recently started Zoom exams.
On Monday, after the in-person exam during which the 16-year-old female victim testified, Judge Green bound Dominick Robert Anderson over to the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice on Aug. 24 for an arraignment on the information.
Defense attorney Murray Duncan said the other cases he has that have been bound over to circuit court are not going anywhere, although dates had been set.
“A lot of cases are in limbo,” said Prosecutor Erin Wilmoth.
Judge Green said she does not know what they are doing at circuit court, but she is binding cases over.
Anderson, 23, of Sumpter Township was charged with five felony counts of criminal sexual conduct – third degree (person 13-15) on Nov. 26 in Sumpter Township. He is free after posting bond of $10,000/10%.
On Monday, after the girl’s testimony, Prosecutor Willman added three high court misdemeanor counts of criminal sexual conduct in the fourth degree (person 13-15), which could bring two additional years each.
The victim testified that she lived in Cleveland and met Anderson through an online app and they two texted back and forth. She said she went to visit him at a hotel in Ohio and they “hung out,” had no sexual conduct. She said she believed he was 20 years old and she was 15 years old at the time.
They planned a weekend together and he was supposed to come and get her, but he couldn’t so her friend brought her to Michigan to a gas station and Anderson met her there.
She said they went to his friend’s house first and then to his house where he lived with his mother and “an old guy.” She stayed for the weekend and slept with Anderson.
She testified he told his mother she was older and, “I just went along with it.” She said she turned 16 in March.
After multiple sexual encounters, she said she wanted to go home but he wouldn’t let her text anyone. She said she waited until he got in the shower and then texted her mother.
“I went home after the cops came,” she said.
Sumpter Detective George Salajan was in the courtroom, but the recorded interview with the victim was not presented and he did not testify.
Brian Lee Williams
The preliminary exam for Brian Lee Williams, 51, of Woodhaven was held before Judge Tina Brooks Green on June 24, via Zoom, after Judge Green stopped the exam begun on June 22, when the only witness to testify couldn’t be heard clearly on his Zoom connection.
After the Zoom exam on June 24, Judge Green said the evidence was a matter of fact for a jury to decide and bound Williams over to the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice for an arraignment on the information on July 8. A calendar conference was set for Aug. 5 at circuit court and then adjourned to Aug. 19.
Williams was charged with operating while intoxicated – third notice, a felony.
Sumpter Police Sgt. Brian Steffani testified that at about 3 a.m., March 2, he was in a marked stationary police vehicle on Oakville Waltz Road west of Haggerty, when he stopped a F-150 going well in excess of the 50 mph limit at about 85 to 86 mph. He testified he did not notice whether the pickup was weaving and it did not go over any lines on the road.
He said Williams told him he had a number of drinks at a friend’s house where he was helping with the plumbing. He said he went to sleep there at 9 p.m. and felt he had waited long enough and he was safe to drive. Sgt. Steffani testified that he told Williams he hadn’t waited long enough because he failed the breath test and the roadside tests he gave.
Sgt. Steffani testified that Williams was very cooperative and friendly and was the “most cooperative drunk-driving arrest I had in many years.”
Williams’ defense attorney Stephanie Achenbach explained her client’s 345-pound weight and height of 5’9”, plus knee replacement surgery, may have led to him being unsteady at part of the roadside test. And he was sleepy and stressed. Williams is free after posting bond of $5,000/10%.
Deandre Sherrod Sanders
Deandre Sherrod Sanders, 27, of Wayne, is charged with domestic violence and assault on a police officer on March 2 in Van Buren Township and his presence was waived for his July 1 probable cause conference by defense attorney Ben Gonek.
Gonek said he received the paper discovery on the case. Prosecutor Larry King said he would check on the digital discovery and Van Buren Township is fairly quick with getting the digital information to him. Gonek said he would need one more probable cause conference and then they would waive the preliminary exam. Judge Green set the next probable cause conference for July 15.
On July 15 it was reported Sanders was presently incarcerated in Macomb County. His conference was adjourned until July 29 and then to Aug. 12. Judge Green said her court would not bring someone in from incarceration. “That won’t happen,” she said. Gonek said he still doesn’t have the 911 tape and body cams.
Maurice Schropshire, 25, of Van Buren Township is charged with assault to do great bodily harm less than murder and domestic violence on April 6 in Van Buren Township. He was present before Judge Green on July 1 for his probable cause conference, but his defense attorney Daniel Wasek still didn’t have the discovery he requested on June 3.
Prosecutor King said he believed he sent it to Wasek, but when he found he hadn’t he apologized and said he would get it to him in a couple of days. He said Van Buren Police are “real quick” and the defense attorney will have the discovery in a week or less.
Judge Green adjourned the probable cause conference to July 8. Schropshire said he is attempting to sign up for an online class called “Full Sail” but they put a hold on accepting him until the case is over. He is free on $10,000 personal bond.
On July 8, the defense attorney still needed the discovery and King said he sent it to him that morning. He said the VBT Police delayed getting it to him because of staffing issues. The probable cause conference was adjourned again, this time to July 13. At that time the defense attorney demanded a live exam and it will be set after Sept. 1.
William Oliver Wood
William Oliver Wood, 35, of Romulus was arraigned June 24 by Magistrate Al Hindman on a felony charge of possession of a controlled substance in Van Buren Township on Oct. 6.
Wood said he has been trying to turn himself in at the VBT police department, but they kept telling him to wait, because of the coronavirus. He was able to turn himself in the previous day and his attorney Samer Jadallah pointed out he had been in lockup for two days.
“I was addicted to heroin and I’ve been clean two weeks,” he said. Magistrate Hindman set $5,000 personal recognizance bond and a probable cause conference for July 8. That conference was adjourned until July 29 and then to Aug. 19. Wood also was told to set up a payment plan for the $1,314 he owed for a probation violation.
John David Machacek
John David Machacek of Belleville is charged with domestic violence – third offense on June 28 in Van Buren Township. His appointed attorney Earl Washington of Neighborhood Defender Service of Detroit told Judge Brian Oakley on July 8 that he has been unable to contact his client. Also, he needs discovery.
Judge Oakley adjourned Machacek’s probable cause conference to July 22. He is free on $5,000 personal recognizance bond, with an order to have no contact with the victim.
On July 22, he showed up at the closed court in person at the front door and was told how to get on the Zoom conference at 9:40 a.m. and how to contact his attorney. Judge Oakley noted it was 9:50 and Machacek was not present and Oakley was tired of adjourning his probable cause conference. Washington said he would try to get ahold of him and Judge Oakley adjourned the conference for one week, to July 29.
The exam was held by Zoom on July 30 and Machacek was bound over to circuit court for an arraignment on the information on Aug. 12.
James Thomas Kimball
James Thomas Kimball, 48, of Burton, MI was arraigned by video from the Van Buren Township PD by Judge Green on July 15 on a charge of domestic violence on July 13. His personal bond was set at $10,000 and he was told to have no contact with the victim and not to return to the address on Lake Pointe Pass. A pretrial conference was later set for Aug. 31.
Ronald Joseph Webb
Ronald Joseph Webb, 55, of Van Buren Township, had a probable cause conference set on July 22, but there was an issue with discovery, so Judge Green adjourned the conference until Aug. 5. Then, Judge Oakley adjourned the probable cause conference until Aug. 12.
Webb is charged with home invasion first-degree and assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder on July 10 in Van Buren Township. He is free on $10,000 personal bond and is to have no contact with the victim. Webb is being represented by Robert Burton-Harris from the Neighborhood Defense Service.
Jakeem Rodney Ware
Jakeem Rodney Ware of Ann Arbor was arraigned by Judge Green on July 22 on a five-year felony charge of malicious destruction of personal property, $1,000 to $20,000 in value (a Pontiac G6) and also assaulting/resisting/obstructing police officers on July 21 in Van Buren Township.
He was given $10,000 personal bond and his bond depends on him having no contact with the victim and he cannot return to the Town and Country trailer park.
Judge Green said the officers involved were VBT Officers McCormick and Belinski.
She said because of prior convictions in 2018 and 2019, the penalty for the five-year offense is increased to 10 years. Judge Green said the officers recommended personal bond because Ware has medical conditions.
His probable cause conference was set for Aug. 5, but attempts by his attorney to contact Ware were unsuccessful and he didn’t show up for Zoom court. Judge Green issued a bench warrant for Ware’s arrest.
Austin James West
Austin James West, 25, of Sumpter Township, was due on July 29 for his probable cause conference on two charges of assaulting / resisting / obstructing a police officer in Belleville on July 5.
The probable cause conference had been adjourned to July 29 from July 15 because the defense attorney did not have discovery from the Belleville PD. On July 29, defense attorney Earl Washington from the Neighborhood Defense Service reported he still did not have all the discovery.
Prosecutor Smith said Belleville is not as forthcoming with uploading evidence. She said there was video at the time.
At an Aug. 5 court session before Judge Green, Prosecutor Lori Mireles-Smith apologized, saying, “I misspoke last week and I apologize to the Belleville Police Department and its officers. They haven’t been non-forthcoming. They don’t have access yet and they have gone through the things they have to go through.” She referred to the discovery.com site.
She said until the technical difficulties are worked out the discovery can be picked up at the Belleville Police Department.
A Zoom preliminary exam had been set for 10:30 a.m., Aug. 10.
Michael David Woody
Michael David Woody, 39, of Sumpter Township was arraigned on a bench warrant by Judge Oakley on July 30. Woody is charged with assault with a dangerous weapon (felonious assault), which was a knife, and malicious destruction of personal property between $200 and $1,000 (a misdemeanor) on March 19 on Archwood in Van Buren Township.
Woody told Judge Oakley the victim was his ex-girlfriend’s boyfriend. Woody told the judge he was recently arrested in Canton for retail fraud, but the charge was dropped because it was someone else.
Police told Judge Oakley that there are warrants out for his arrest from the cities of Detroit and Dearborn, both narcotics charges.
Judge Oakley set a probable cause conference for 11:10 a.m., Aug. 12, and set bond for $20,000/10%.
Shannon Marie Johnson
Shannon Marie Johnson, 29, of Van Buren Township was scheduled for her probable cause conference on Aug. 5, but her defense attorney Timothy Wrather of Neighborhood Defender Service said he was having trouble getting the discovery from Van Buren Township PD. Judge Green adjourned the conference for three weeks to Aug. 26.
Johnson is charged with three counts of assaulting/resisting/obstructing a police officer, one count of aggravated assault, and one count of interfering with a crime report on July 25 in Van Buren Township.
She also had another case from Feb. 18 for possession of narcotics in Van Buren Township and she was arraigned on a bench warrant for that charge.
Johnson had a $10,000/10% bond on the first case, with no contact with the victim, and had to wear a GPS tether for release. Judge Green set personal bond of $5,000 on the second case and set that probable cause conference for Aug. 26, as well.
Johnson was present at the court session via Zoom from the county jail. Defense attorney Wrather told Judge Green that his client’s bond has been posted and she is still incarcerated, waiting for them to attach the tether. He asked Judge Green to remove the order for a tether so Johnson could get out of jail.
Judge Green didn’t want to do that but promised to have the court call the jail to try to move the process along.