On Thursday June 25, a trial date was set for 21-year-old Arnell Devontae Lincoln, one of two men accused of opening fire at a vehicle while at a gas station in Ypsilanti. In April, Lincoln and 25-year-old Antonio Frank Thomas allegedly shot at a man in a red Taurus who was pumping gas at a station located in the 500 block of South Huron Street. The alleged target was not injured, however a minivan that was in the vicinity reportedly got caught up in the gunfire.
One of the two adults who were inside the minivan at the time was reportedly injured by a bullet fragment; there were also two children inside the vehicle. According to a news article at Mlive.com, it is believed a disagreement between Lincoln and Thomas and the man in the red Taurus led to the shooting. Thomas is considering a plea deal, while Lincoln is scheduled to go to trial on September 28 on charges of assault with intent to murder, assault with a dangerous weapon, felony firearm, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and carrying a concealed weapon.
Antonio Thomas requested a three-week adjournment to discuss a possible plea deal. He is facing identical charges to those of Lincoln, with one additional count of assault with intent to murder, and an additional count of assault with a dangerous weapon.
The maximum punishment for a conviction of assault with intent to commit murder is life in prison. Depending on the circumstances, the offender may face any number of years in prison, along with other penalties.
Depending on the strength of the evidence and other factors, there are circumstances in which a defendant may benefit by accepting a plea deal. In many cases, prosecutors will reduce the charge when a defendant agrees to plead guilty or no contest. This helps avoid the costs associated with going to trial, and generally leaves the defendant facing punishment that is less severe than he/she would have faced had the case gone to trial and the defendant been found guilty.
Whether you should proceed forward to trial, accept a plea deal, or go with other possible legal options is something that should be discussed with an experienced criminal attorney in Washtenaw County. Every criminal case is different; in some cases it may be possible to have charges dismissed, or prevent filing of charges completely. Speak with a seasoned defense lawyer immediately if you are facing criminal charges or are under investigation.