On Friday October 31, two individuals were arraigned in the October 27 shooting death of 76-year-old Kenneth LaBita, a longtime Plymouth Township resident. LaBita was found inside his home just east of Haggerty on the evening of the 27th; he had been shot to death, according to police.
A news article at the Detroit Free Press claims that LaBita had lived in the home for approximately 40 years. His body was discovered when officers were dispatched to the home to check on his welfare. LaBita was discovered lying on the floor, a gunshot wound to his head.
In the first days, investigators had no leads in the case. According to Tom Tiderington, Plymouth Township Police Chief, detectives began working around the clock to make progress in the case. Tips from both the public and other law enforcement agencies, along with telephone records, led authorities to one of the suspects, 22-year-old Andrew Nutt of Westland. Another individual, 19-year-old Miriah Pisarski of Wayne, has also been charged in the case. Both are charged with felony murder, first-degree premeditated murder, larceny, and using a gun during a felony.
Police were also working to recover guns believed to have been stolen from the victim’s home at the time of news reports. A preliminary hearing for Pisarski and Nutt has been scheduled for Friday, November 14.
According to an article at Mlive.com, Kenneth LaBita was Pisarski’s father. She allegedly stood by and watched as Nutt shot the victim in the head.
First-degree murder means that the accused intended to kill the victim, that the murder was premeditated. Criminal penalties for those convicted are as serious as they can get – mandatory life in prison with no possibility of parole. Anyone who has been charged with murder must work with an aggressive Michigan criminal defense attorney who is knowledgeable regarding how prosecutors work, and the defense strategies most effective in defending such serious charges.
In order to convict the defendant for the crime of first-degree or felony murder, the prosecutor must prove every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. These elements include that the defendant did cause the death of the victim and did so intending to kill or harm the victim, that the killing was not committed under circumstances which would qualify for charges of a less serious crime or in any way justified or excused, the defendant was engaged in the act of committing or attempting to commit a specific felony offense when the victim’s death occurred, and more.
It is important for those accused of murder to understand that it is not always easy for the state to prove the case against you. In order to protect your legal rights, freedom, and to ensure the best possible outcome, consult with a seasoned Michigan criminal defense lawyer who understands the law and is committed to reaching positive results.