Earlier this week, a Wayne man was charged in the September 4 homicide of a Bloomfield Township resident. Bart Mitchell Spencer, a 45-year-old handyman, is suspected of murdering 77-year-old William Whitelaw. According to news reports at the Detroit Free Press, Spencer has an extensive criminal record.
At the time of news reports, an arraignment date and time could not be set as Spencer had allegedly violated his parole and was in custody of federal authorities. While several individuals were arrested in connection with Whitelaw’s death, Spencer is the only one charged in the homicide as authorities believe he carried out the murder alone.
According to the news article, Spencer did work for several residents who lived in the condo complex where Whitelaw lived. He had also done work for the victim, and was well-known in the complex. On the evening of September 4, authorities were dispatched to the victim’s condo after Whitelaw’s son called 911 and reported a deceased person.
Several agencies were involved in the investigation including the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force, Oakland County Narcotics Enforcement Teams, the city of Wayne, the Major Case Assistance Team, and the Troy Special Investigation Unit. In all, Spencer was charged with six felonies including open murder, larceny of firearms, larceny in a building, possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony, and arson – preparation to burn.
Open murder may be charged by the jury as first- or second-degree murder. All of the charges against Spencer are extremely serious, however the homicide charge may result in a life sentence if he is found guilty.
Anyone who is under investigation or who has been arrested for a serious or violent crime must consult with an aggressive Michigan criminal defense attorney at once. It is vital that you invoke your right to remain silent, as anything you say will be used against you. Until you obtain the guidance of a criminal defense lawyer, do not speak to anyone, as your freedom and future are in jeopardy. A seasoned defense attorney will work with you to determine the most effective legal strategy to reach the best possible outcome in your case.