Articles Posted in Violent Crime

On Thursday March 10, 49-year-old Andre Hatchett was released from prison after spending nearly a quarter of a century behind bars for the beating death of a woman in 1991.  Hatchett was serving 25 years to life for the murder of Neda Mae Carter, who was strangled, beaten in the head, and left in a park in New York.

Hatchett went to trial twice in the alleged murder; the first ending in a mistrial after Hatchett’s defense attorneys were thought to be “inept,” according to news reports.  At the time of the murder, Hatchett was on crutches and had several injuries after being shot in the trachea and legs just months earlier.  The injuries Hatchett had at the time he allegedly killed Carter went unmentioned at trial.  Hatchett was hardly able to read or write at the time of his trial due to intellectual disabilities that had plagued him all his life, so he was not able to give his defense team support.
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On Monday, February 7, 30-year-old Dante L. Johnson was found not guilty of open murder in iStock_000006818663_Full-300x200connection with the 2014 shooting death of Orlando Walker in Kalamazoo.  Walker was shot on July 6, 2014; three people were charged in the shooting incident.  While Johnson was acquitted of the murder charge, he was found guilty of firearm possession by a felon and on one count of felony firearm.

Johnson was charged with open murder in June of last year, after another person charged in the case identified Johnson as the shooter.  Murder charges against Kenneth Langston were dismissed, however four other individuals supported his version of events and accusation that Johnson was the shooter.
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In August of last year, 33-year-old Martez Terrill Gardner of Ypsilanti Township reportedly shot a man at a Citgo gas station as the man was trying to run away after the men had become involved in an argument who one witness said was over a woman. Gardner was charged with first-degree premeditated murder initially, but has now accepted a plea deal in which he pleaded no contest to second-degree murder.

Gardner was also charged with carrying a weapon with unlawful intent, possessing a firearm as a feloniStock_000008551433_Large-2-300x200, possessing ammunition as a felon, three counts of felony firearm, and illegally carrying a concealed weapon.

Gardner is a habitual offender, having served time for unarmed robbery, malicious destruction of fire or police property, and probation for other criminal charges. Under the plea agreement his habitual status and first-degree murder charge will be dismissed at sentencing. After pleading no contest, he will serve 30 to 55 years for the death of 25-year-old Derius James.

In December of last year, Michael Robert Young, 27 and a former supervisor at Aramark was found guilty of solicitation to commit assault with intent to cause great bodily harm. Young, of Kincheloe, was recently sentenced and now faces up to five years in prison for the felony conviction. iStock_000011602905_Large-2-300x200

According to news reports, Young was employed by Aramark at Kinross Correctional Facility when he allegedly solicited an inmate to assault another inmate who Young said was incarcerated for murdering one of his relatives. The inmate Young allegedly wanted to harm was located at a different correctional facility. An article at The Detroit News stated that Young gave the inmate the other inmate’s name, location, prisoner number, and other details.

State officials revealed in a statement that the inmate Young was attempting to solicit told the Michigan Department of Corrections about Young’s plot. Young was charged in May of 2015, and was sentenced this month.

In 2001, Richard Masterson was found guilty of the February strangulation of 35-year-old Darrin richard-mHoneycutt in Houston, TX.  Masterson is scheduled to be executed in less than three weeks, however his lawyers are now arguing that Masterson’s conviction was based on a questionable confession and botched autopsy, according to an article at the Houston Chronicle.  The victim was a female impersonator, according to reports.

According to Masterson, the two were engaged in sexual activity when Honeycutt accidentally died.  However, Masterson’s attorneys contend that the Harris County medical examiner erroneously classified the victim’s death as a homicide, even though while the death was attributed to strangulation the medical examiner suggested the victim’s neck had not been subject to deadly pressure.  Masterson’s lawyers claim that at the time he confessed to the crime, he was suffering from mental illness.
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On Thursday November 19, former Inkster police officer William Melendez was found guilty of assault with intent to do great bodily harm in the beating of a motorist during a traffic stop. The beating of 58-year-old Floyd Dent, who is black, was captured on video. Melendez was also charged with assault by strangulation, however he was cleared of that charge. He was also found guilty of misconduct in office. iStock_000014700004_XXXLarge (2)

The incident which led to the charged occurred in January, when Melendez pulled Dent over for disregarding a stop sign. A dash cam video captured the scene, which according to news reports shows Melendez punching Dent in the head 16 times. Following airing of the footage on a local news station, Melendez was terminated. Dent suffered several injuries including blood on his brain and broken ribs, and was awarded $1.4 million by the city of Inkster, a Detroit suburb.

Melendez’s attorney said during the trial that his client was justified in assaulting Dent, because the defendant resisted police and was aggressive at the time of the traffic stop. He also said that following his December 3rd sentencing hearing, Melendez plans to appeal his conviction.

On Tuesday November 3, Dominick Wright was arrested in Tulsa, Oklahoma following a tip Crime Stoppers in Flint received which led them to Wright, a man wanted for allegedly shooting and killing Jermaine Moore in May of this year. iStock_000008551433_Large (2)

The Crime Stoppers agency was offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information that would lead to Wright’s arrest, and while numerous tips were received, director Julie Lopez said one in particular led them to find the fugitive more than 900 miles away.

The shooting took place at just after 8:30 in the evening on May 27, as people gathered to mourn a man at a nearby park who had passed away after suffering a heart attack. Authorities believe Wright shot 35-year-old Jermaine Moore when the two became involved in a dispute over a parking spot.

On Wednesday November 4, a woman was allegedly robbed of her purse at Delaware Street SE and South Division Avenue in Grand Rapids by two young men who used a BB gun to frighten the woman, who was not injured. iStock_000000341623_Large (2)

According to a news article a Mlive.com, the two men, who are cousins, were apprehended just a few minutes later after the woman called police; they were riding bicycles when police spotted one of the suspects who appeared to have a BB gun in the pocket of his sweatshirt. Grand Rapids Police Captain Vincent Reilly said the older cousin, who is 24, told police he was on probation for a prior armed robbery offense. The younger cousin had marijuana in his possession, according to Reilly.

The two cousins who were arrested. 20-year-old Moises Espino is charged with one count of armed robbery and possession of marijuana. 24-year-old Ezra Osorio-Espino is charged with armed robbery as a second-time habitual offender. Both were held on $100,000 bond. Police believe the cousins may have been involved in a similar incident earlier in the evening in which two men on bicycles attempted to steal a college student’s backpack.

On September 17, two women, both grandmothers, were carjacked at Detroit’s Motor City Casino according to a recent article at Mlive.com. The women, one from Sterling Heights and one from Clinton Township, were 68 and 78 years old respectively. Their names were not mentioned in the news article. slot-machines-1571555

The suspect, 49-year-old Wayne Darrell Jones, was arrested on September 21. The Wayne County Prosecutors Office said in a statement on the day Jones was arrested that he got into the vehicle with the two victims at about 5:30 a.m. on the day of the crime, pulled out a hand gun, took the women’s purses, and demanded money. He then ordered the younger of the two women to drive the car; when they reached the area of Appoline Street and Schoolcraft where a field was located, he forced the two victims out of the car and drove away. Police claim the victims were helped by a good Samaritan after walking two miles.

Jones was arrested and charged with two counts each of armed robbery, carjacking, felony firearm possession, and unlawful imprisonment. At his arraignment hearing on the 21st, bond was set at $100,000.

On March 26th of this year, a 71-year-old Ypsilanti man was found dead in his home, apparently a victim of a stabbing. Now, a 23-year-old woman has been arrested in the stabbing according to a recent news article at Mlive.com. knife-on-table-1549464

Gary Schneider, the victim, was reportedly stabbed numerous times in the neck and head area after it is believed he and the suspect became involved in a violent discussion. Haleigh Maynard has been charged and arraigned on a single count of open murder in Schneider’s death. No details regarding the circumstances of the argument or the killing have been released.

The victim’s body was discovered in his home when a woman who lived in the area found Schneider’s wallet on a sidewalk and tried to return it. The door of his home was open, and vehicles in the driveway. When the woman received no response, she called police.

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