On Sunday, August 9, 24-year-old Antonio Lee Albert and 34-year-old Jason Jordan were reportedly in the backseat of a car in Southeast Grand Rapids when an argument began. According to news reports, Albert exited the vehicle, walked around to the other side, then shot at Jordan three to four time, striking him twice in the head.
The vehicle the two were riding in was stopped at a red light in the vicinity of Franklin Street SE and Eastern Avenue as the driver of the car was waiting for the light to turn green. The shooting took place at approximately 7 a.m.
Albert then walked away from the scene, however the driver of the vehicle took the victim to a local hospital, where he died just a short time after his arrival. For several days police were asking for the public’s help in finding Albert; on Thursday he turned himself in. The driver of the car and others who were in the vehicle identified Albert as the man who shot Jordan.
News reports state Albert is charged with one count of open murder, and remains incarcerated at the Kent County Jail. At the time of news reports, an arraignment date had not been scheduled.
In Michigan, a charge of open murder essentially leaves the decision as to whether to try the defendant on first-degree, second-degree, or other potential homicide charges up to the prosecutor or jurors. If charged with first-degree or felony murder, the criminal penalties if the defendant is found guilty include life in prison. In order to be found guilty of first-degree murder, the prosecutor must prove very specific elements of the crime, particularly premeditation and deliberation.
Second-degree murder is also an extremely serious charge, and will leave the defendant facing many years in prison if convicted. However, in this case the elements of premeditation and deliberation are not included. Essentially, in order for an individual to be found guilty of first-degree murder, it must be proven the defendant thought about and made the decision to kill someone beforehand – the murder was premeditated.
Any homicide charge is serious, and could leave the accused facing life-changing criminal penalties if convicted. If you have been arrested or charged with open murder or any homicide/manslaughter offense, speak with an experienced and aggressive Michigan criminal defense attorney immediately.