Devonte Jaquez Warren was arraigned on Friday, July 5 in Grand Rapids District Court on charges of murder, felony use of a firearm, and conspiracy to commit murder in the shooting death of 18-year-old Gregory Woods Jr., a member of the Bemis Boys, a notoriously violent gang. News reports claim that the shooting was not gang-related, but stemmed out of individual animosity.
On January 8 of this year, the victim was shot when he opened the door of his mother’s home on Neland Avenue SE. The home had been shot at just two days previously by unknown individuals who passed by, according to a news article at Mlive.com. In recent months Grand Rapids has had more than its share of murders. In fact, a childhood friend of Woods, Lionel Wingfield, said following the shooting that “all around the hood, ain’t nobody safe.” Woods died after being taken to Saint Mary’s Health Care.
Warren is charged as a repeat offender which may result in harsher penalties if convicted. In 2010 when he was 15 years old, Warren was charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct. Judge Jeanine LaVille informed Warren via video that if he is convicted of murder, he would possibly face a life sentence. Warren has retained a defense attorney, and answered questions via video from the Kent County Jail, giving yes and no answers. He remain jailed without bond; a probable cause hearing is scheduled for July 19.
It is an absolute tragedy that an 18-year-old young man lost his life because of senseless violence; however, Michigan murder defense lawyers also realize how tragic it is that a 17-year-old boy may now face the rest of his life behind bars. Essentially, his life will be over at a very young age. It is a sad but true fact that teenagers often make mistakes they will regret for the rest of their lives, usually out of immaturity.
Any person who has been accused of or charged with a serious or violent crime such as murder must consult with a capable Michigan criminal defense attorney immediately, so that work can begin to protect your legal rights and freedom.