By Rosemary K. Otzman
Thirty-fourth District Court Judge Tina Brooks Green said she had a history with the alleged victim in a weapons assault case before her and while the woman may be a lot of things, a liar is not one of them.
After a preliminary exam on June 11, Judge Green found the prosecution had met its burden of proof and bound Vena Ezette Mixon, 47, of Sumpter Township over to circuit court on two charges of felonious assault – one with a car and one with a firearm – plus one charge of felony firearm.
Mixon is out on bond and is scheduled to appear for an arraignment on the information at the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice in Detroit on June 25 where Judge Green said a jury eventually could determine the facts.
Although several witnesses were waiting in the hallway outside the courtroom to testify in the preliminary exam, the only witness called by Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor Ryan Lukiewski was Jordan Michelle Francis, the alleged victim.
Francis testified that on May 11 she and her friend Charles Campbell were on their bicycles in about the 46000 block of Judd Road. She said she was making a rock garden and was picking up rocks along the side of the road.
Francis said a charcoal Dodge Charger drove up and the driver, who she identified as Mixon, was taking pictures of her, so she posed and smiled. The car pulled up very close and Mixon reportedly asked Campbell if he was OK. Francis testified that Campbell said he was OK and why was she asking.
That’s when Mixon reportedly said “These aren’t the slavery days” and pulled a little gun in Francis’ face. She said she turned her head and Mixon reportedly said, “Bitch, I will blow your head all over the road.”
Francis said she was scared out of her mind and told Mixon that if she pulls the trigger she will end both their lives because Mixon will spend the rest of her life in prison. She said Mixon spit on her and knocked her off her bicycle with the car and sped off.
She said she didn’t try to get away because she had been blocked in between the car and the deep ditch.
She said Campbell helped her out of the ditch and she rode her dented bicycle home “at 100 mph” to call police. She said she went to the hospital and she has pictures of the bruises all over, especially her left leg.
When asked if she knew Mixon, she said she has seen her at her next-door neighbor’s house and she never had a problem with them.
Mixon’s attorney Mary Yancy cross-examined Francis, asking if she said anything else to Mixon. Francis said when she kept taking the pictures, she told her to “F— off!”
She said she has been in counseling as a result of the incident and has nightmares. She testified she is blind in her left eye.
Yancy accused Francis of lying about the incident and Judge Green cut that line of questioning short. Then, Yancy wanted to know when was the last time Francis worked and Lukiewski objected.
Judge Green told Yancy that this is a probable-cause hearing, not a trial. Yancy asked to go to the bench with Lukiewski to discuss the case privately with the judge.
When they came back, Yancy was permitted to continue the questioning on Francis’ work history. Francis replied the last time she worked was when she was 19. She is 28 today and on disability, with physical ailments she listed, including bipolar disorder, depression, a head injury, and a back problem. She takes pain medication for severe migraines.
When Yancy asked if she has filed court cases, Francis said she has one civil case because someone owes her money. She confirmed she was in a lot of trouble as a teenager and had a shoplifting charge when she was younger, in 2007. She said she called police for domestic violence several times on the same person. She said her uncle was a former Sumpter Township detective.
“I can’t believe this woman would pull a gun over nothing,” Francis said during Yancy’s cross-examination.
Then, Prosecutor Lukiewski called Charles Campbell to testify and Judge Green said further testimony wasn’t needed for probable cause. She asked Lukiewski for a motion.
Attorney Yancy told the judge she and her client believe credibility is a factor. She said Francis is blind in one eye and said she “flew 100 mph” down the road toward home after the incident.
“When most of us see a gun, we don’t stick around,” Yancy said. “She suffers from illnesses which could cause testimony that’s unbelievable.”
“She may be scattered and not always focused, but my history with her shows her to be a lot of things, but not not-credible,” Judge Green said. “She is a lot of things, but a liar is not one of them.”
Lukiewski made a motion to bind Mixon over to circuit court and Judge Green did so.
The Sumpter Police officer in charge of the case is Detective John Toth.
By Rosemary K. Otzman