Failed Romance Prompts Shooting Deaths of Two at Retirement Home; 67-year-old Man Sentenced to Life in Prison

On Thursday April 24, 67-year-old Mike Reda was sentenced to life in prison without parole in the shooting deaths of 59-year-old Deborah Socia and 61-year-old Maria Victoria Gonzalez.  The two women were residents at the Pablo Davis Elder Living Center in Detroit.  The shooting took place in October, and according to investigators was prompted by a failed romance.

Reda, who is a retired father of seven children, said following the shooting in a videotaped confession played during his preliminary hearing that he could not control himself, and that he had told the two victims to stay out of the lives of himself and his girlfriend.  Reda claimed that the two women were interfering, that they were keeping Lupe, his girlfriend, away from him.  He said that Lupe had not come to his residence in more than two weeks.

Reda admitted in the taped confession that he had drank approximately three bottles of brandy on the day the shooting took place.  He allegedly shot Socia as she was talking to another resident of the senior citizens apartment complex outside the building.  Gonzalez was shot twice in the head after the defendant allegedly went to her apartment and broke down the door to gain entrance.  Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Cynthia Gray Hathaway, who sentenced Reda on Thursday, called the shooting deaths a “horrible incident.”

In Michigan, first-degree murder involves the element of premeditation; individuals may be found guilty of this type of murder if it is determined that the killing of another person was premeditated or deliberate.  Even though Reda was likely somewhat intoxicated on the day of the shootings, it looks as though he had thought out and planned his course of action.

Any murder or homicide charge, whether first- or second-degree  murder, negligent homicide, or voluntary or involuntary manslaughter is serious.  It is vital to have a skilled and aggressive Michigan criminal defense attorney on your side who will challenge the evidence and make prosecutors work hard to prove the elements of the crime that must be proven in order to reach a guilty verdict.  Even in the most serious of cases, there may be legal options which will help you avoid a lengthy prison sentence and other criminal penalties.  Speak with a seasoned defense lawyer before you speak with police to ensure you avoid further incriminating yourself in any homicide crime.

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