Grand Rapids Man Facing Potential Life in Prison Found Not Guilty in One Case, Hung Jury in Another

Last week we wrote about a case involving Demeatrius Tate, a 32-year-old man who allegedly committed two armed robberies and a carjacking in one day. On Monday, November 11, a Kent County jury found Tate not guilty of one of the alleged robberies, according to a news article at In the alleged robbery of a couple on the same day, jurors could not reach a verdict after asking Judge Mark Trusock for explanations of identification and the legal standards for burden of proof. car-crime-scripted-480656-s.jpg

Tate’s co-defendant in the case, 18-year-old Atravius Riley, pleaded guilty to the crimes and is awaiting sentencing; he will face a minimum of 12 years in prison. One of the robberies involved Dominic Melton, an alleged victim who said he was talking on a cell phone inside his vehicle near Seward Avenue and Douglas Street NW when he was robbed by Atravius Riley, who was holding a gun to his chest. He alleges that Riley forced him to drive to an ATM machine to withdraw money. Melton also stated that he saw a van in which Riley was a passenger with Tate driving. Ultimately, Tate’s defense attorney argued that the evidence was insufficient to connect his client to the robbery; the jury agreed.

Tate will be retried in the robbery of the couple who jurors could not come to a verdict on. He remains incarcerated at the Kent County Jail awaiting a new trial date.

In August, Tate was offered a deal by prosecutors to plead guilty in exchange for a reduced minimum sentence, which would have left him facing 13 to 21 years in prison. After listening to the options explained by Judge Mark Trusock, Tate declined to plead guilty. Tate is a repeat offender with a criminal record; had he been convicted on all of the charges against him, he would have faced a minimum sentence of approximately 14 years and up to 40 years behind bars; his sentence may have also been enhanced due to his repeat offender status.

Michigan criminal defense lawyers understand that having to choose between going to trial or accepting a plea offer from prosecutors is stressful. The stakes are high in cases involving serious or violent crimes such as armed robbery, carjacking, or even murder.

Had Tate pleaded guilty, he would have faced certain prison time. This is a prime example of why it is urgent for those accused of a serious criminal offense to have a capable Michigan criminal defense lawyer on their side. A skilled attorney can provide legal guidance and support, helping defendants make decisions which will impact the rest of their lives.