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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Sentencing today for man convicted of killing 2-year-old Macomb County boy

Sentencing is scheduled Thursday for a man who was convicted in the death of a 2-year-old Macomb County boy.  Watch LIVE now

Ronald Dimambro was found guilty of first-degree murder and first-degree child abuse in the August 2013 attack on Damian Sutton. Dimambro had been babysitting the toddler.

Prosecutors said Dimambro shook the boy so violently that the toddler suffered brain damage. He died six days later.

The prosecution also said Dimambro, the boyfriend of Damian's mother, changed his story a number of times while being questioned by police, including how long he shook the boy to get him to stop crying.

The murder count carries a sentence of mandatory life imprisonment without parole.

Link to article

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Judge: Why Wasn’t Child Murder Suspect In Jail? (Raymone Jackson)

DETROIT (WWJ) – A judge questions why an ex-con accused in the murder of a two-year-old Inkster girl was not in jail at the time of the murder.

Twenty-five-year-old Raymone Jackson appeared in Wayne County Circuit Court Wednesday for arraignment on a host of charges — including first-degree murder — in connection with the shooting death of KaMiya Gross reports WWJ’s Jon Hewett.

But the judge presiding over the case, David Groner, openly questioned why Jackson was even at large … saying he should have been behind bars on a drug charge stemming from last year, an 11-month sentence Groner himself imposed last September.

Groner asked the government why Jackson wasn’t immediately transferred to jail March 26 when Michigan paroled him after a drug sentence.

Watch video here

Officials didn't offer an explanation.

Jackson, is also charged with torture and assault in connection with the fatal shooting of KaMiya, and the shooting and injuring of the child’s father and 13-year-old cousin.

Michigan State Police Lieutenant Michael Shaw explained the torture charge in what police describe as a case of retaliation.

“The child was the intended target and that’s what the torture charge was for,” Shaw said. “His thought process was that he was going to kill the child in front of this guy and then kill him afterwards and so that would be the last thing he sees.”

This case was mentioned by former Inkster Police Chief Hilton Napoleon as one of the reasons he was resigning - citing the senselessness of the crime among the reasons for his departure.

In a statement to WWJ the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office stated Wednesday evening:

The subject (Raymond Jackson- alias Raymone Jackson) was remanded to custody in September 2013 to serve 11 months on a non-violent, non-assaultive conviction. The WCSO was authorized to allow him to serve as an inmate worker, which gives eligible inmates a chance to earn time off their sentence through work in the facility. With additional time credited for “statutory good behavior”, Jackson was released in March, following notification to the MDOC. The MDOC had the option to pick Jackson up and return him to MDOC custody—they declined and removed the detainer. Upon release in March 2014, Jackson was to be on probation under the supervision of MDOC through September 2015. In addition, Jackson was turned over to Dearborn Heights Police due to outstanding warrants.

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Opening statements in Theodore Wafer trial

DETROIT, MI -- The screen door through which Renisha McBride was shot to death Nov. 2, 2013, her whereabouts in the hours before her death and Michigan's self-defense laws will be key issues in the trial of Theodore Wafer, attorneys indicated in opening arguments Wednesday

Wafer, 55, of Dearborn Heights, is charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter in the killing of McBride, 19, of Detroit.

Defense attorney Cheryl Carpenter during opening arguments Wednesday showed jurors the screen door that stood between Wafer and McBride when he fired his shotgun.

"This is the door he shot through," she said, tapping at the screen. "What's that going do? Is that going to keep anyone out? ... What are you going to feel at that moment? Fear for your life that somebody's about to come in."

Prosecutors called Wafer's actions "unnecessary, unjustified and unreasonable" when he fired at McBride after she banged on his front door about 4:40 a.m., hours after she was involved in a crash on Detroit's far west side.

She was struck in the face and died on Wafer's Dearborn Heights porch.

McBride had a blood-alcohol level of about .28 when she died, according to the Wayne County Medical Examiner's office.

Family members, witnesses to the crash and experts are expected to testify.

"This case is a tragedy all the way around," Carpenter said. "It's horrible, a 19-year-old woman. It's sad. But we have to put that aside ... What Ted did was justified."

She argued that the burden is on prosecutors to prove that Wafer did not act in self defense, speaking at length on the "castle doctrine" in Michigan law, which protects the use of deadly force when a person “honestly and reasonably” believes a home invasion is taking place.

"When you're in your home, it's your castle," she said. "We need the the castle doctrine to keep us safe and if someone is intruding on us, we can use deadly force...

"We don't have to prove self-defense, they have to disprove it."

Link to article by MLive

Defense seeks to undermine key witness in Hillsborough baby killing case

TAMPA — The mother of the 3-month-old boy Richard McTear Jr. is accused of tossing from a car window onto Interstate 275 began to tell her story on Wednesday in tearful testimony.

Before taking the witness stand, Jasmine Bedwell was warned by the prosecutor not to delve into McTear's past. She was not to discuss his criminal record, or the threats she says he made against her child's life. Doing so could cause a repeat of last year's disastrous episode, when Bedwell's comments forced Hillsborough Circuit Judge William Fuente to declare a mistrial.

Set on edge by the prospect of making a mistake, Bedwell responded to Assistant State Attorney Ron Gale's questions with trepidation. At one point, she told him she didn't know if she could answer at all. Jurors were asked to leave the room while Gale assured her that she could testify that McTear had attacked her and hurt her baby.

At all times, she struggled to remain composed. Bedwell took the witness stand clutching a packet of tissues, her face raw from crying. Asked to identify McTear, she locked eyes with him across the courtroom and burst into tears.

Bedwell, now 22, was pregnant with her first child in 2008 when she began dating McTear, a young man who had already amassed a long criminal record. She was living in her own apartment, but was still under the care of Hillsborough's foster care program at the time, which encouraged independent living.

McTear was present at her son Emanuel Murray Jr.'s birth, Bedwell told jurors, and he was the cause of the infant's death.

She testified that on May 5, 2009, she had returned to her apartment early in the morning from an evening at a male friend's house. After the friend kissed her on the cheek and she locked the door behind him, Bedwell said she was attacked by McTear, who yelled, "Who the [expletive] was that?"

Bedwell said McTear bit, punched, and tried to choke her. Next, he went to the refrigerator and drank from a gallon container of water. Then he grabbed a soda can.

"He poured the soda all in my baby's face. And he picked up the car seat and he threw it," Bedwell said. Emanuel had been sleeping in the car seat and he began to cry.

"Make him shut the f--- up," McTear told Bedwell.

"I walked over, turned the car seat over, got him out of the car seat, I was rocking him," she said.

Bedwell said she saw an opening to escape. Cradling her son in her left arm, she ran for the front door. It's at this point that her account diverges from what Gale told jurors in his opening statement on Tuesday. Bedwell said that McTear grabbed Emanuel and threw him into the concrete. Gale said the baby fell as Bedwell was scrambling to get out.

Emanuel was found later that day along I-275, his skull fractured. He was pronounced dead at the scene, but it remains unclear exactly what killed him or how he got there.

Gale said Tuesday that investigators linked blood stains on McTear's shorts to the baby, and Emanuel's blood was found in a car that McTear was known to drive.

Link to article