Two Suspects in Ypsilanti Death of River Rouge Man Taken Into Custody

A 46-year-old River Rouge man was killed in Ypsilanti on Easter in what appears to be a dispute over a lease between his daughter and her roommates. The victim, John Lawrence, was attempting to intervene on behalf of his daughter, according to a news article at Heritage Newspapers. 1156821_handcuffs.jpg

Lawrence was killed with a blunt object at the Peninsular Place apartment complex where his 19-year-old daughter lived, according to Ypsilanti police. At approximately 9:40 on Sunday evening, police were called to investigate reports of a disorderly incident. Following the initial investigation, police determined a woman and man who lived with Lawrence’s daughter were involved in the dispute which allegedly resulted in his death.

Raven Lawrence, daughter of the victim, was involved in a dispute with the two suspects over a lease; her father was there to take her out of the apartment for the night. Lawrence told police that she and her female roommate who is 20 years old were involved in conversation about the lease, which escalated into a heated argument. She also stated that her roommate’s boyfriend who was apparently living with the two women was not supposed to be there.

Lawrence called her parents when she began to feel threatened, according to a news article at AnnArbor.com. Upon her father’s arrival, he instructed her to take a gun he was carrying out to his vehicle. He remained in the apartment with the two suspects; when Raven Lawrence went back to the apartment, she found the door locked. She said that she banged on the door and screamed; neighbors confirm hearing the commotion.

Police have not yet determined what the object was that was used to strike Lawrence in the head, but suspect it may have been a frying pan. The two suspects were placed in the Washtenaw County Jail following their arrest. Blunt force trauma was determined to be the cause of death; the case was initially ruled as a homicide while awaiting autopsy results. An investigation continues in the homicide.

If the two suspects are tried for homicide, they will face very serious consequences if convicted. Michigan homicide attorneys understand the seriousness of a criminal offense involving the death of another person. Whether an individual faces criminal charges involving homicide, voluntary or involuntary manslaughter, or first- or second-degree murder, the penalties include any number of years to life in prison.


If you have been arrested for homicide or are under investigation, it is important that you take a proactive approach to protect your own freedom and future. Contact a reputable Michigan criminal defense lawyer at once.