State Roundup

Man sentenced in shooting death of his brother

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - A Lansing man who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the shooting death of his brother has been sentenced to at least 18 years in prison.

The Lansing State Journal reports the punishment handed down Wednesday was the minimum sentence recommended as part of a plea agreement reached in October between prosecutors and the attorney for 33-year-old Rahsohn Perry.

The sentence calls for up to 35 years in prison.

Perry was charged in the death of 39-year-old Michael Jimenez, who was shot in the head at a home in November 2014.

In testimony, witnesses said Perry and Jimenez were in a physical struggle that led to the shooting. Perry's attorney has said the case's key issue was whether Perry shot Jimenez in self-defense.

Attackers post video of assault on Facebook page

PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) - Two men a sheriff labelled "cowards" stole a cellphone from a suburban Detroit man with cerebral palsy, beat him, recorded the assault on his cellphone and posted it to his Facebook page, authorities said.

Nikey Dashone Walker and Shadeed Dontae Bey were arrested following the Sunday morning attack in a stairwell at the 23-year-old victim's apartment complex in Pontiac, the Oakland County sheriff's department said.

"Preying on those in our community who suffer from disabilities will not be tolerated and furthermore, to have the audacity to post their actions on the victim's page is beyond belief," Sheriff Michael Bouchard said in a statement. Police have released video of the attack.

Authorities have not released the name of the victim, but Frankie Santana, a resident at the complex, told WJBK-TV that he was the man who was assaulted.

"Why would they do that and put it on Facebook? That's how you are going to get caught real quickly," Santana said.

Bouchard credited the work of his investigators for bringing "these two cowards to justice."

The 20-year-old suspects were arraigned Tuesday on charges including assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder, and ordered held on $25,000 bond ahead of a Dec. 8 court date. If convicted, they could be sent to prison for 10 years.

The men didn't yet have lawyers on record to comment on the case, according to a check of 50th District Court records on Wednesday.

Santana said the men spit and stomped on him, injuring an eye, but that "nothing is broke." He said he had seen one of the men before, but suspected that they snuck into the apartment complex.

"I crawled through the hallway and knocked on someone's door and that's how I got help," Santana told the TV station.

Investigators responding to a report of the assault said they were told the suspects also posted the video to their own Facebook pages. The victim's phone, which was taken while he was inside his apartment, was found at the home of one of the suspects, the department said.

The Associated Press sent a message for the sheriff's department spokesman for information on how the men entered Santana's home.

Cerebral palsy is a brain disorder that can affect movement, posture and muscle coordination.

Big Rapids
Man passing out pamphlets about juries arrested

BIG RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) - A man in western Michigan said he was arrested and locked up for 12 hours for telling people outside a courthouse to follow their conscience if selected for a jury.

Keith Wood told The Grand Rapids Press that he's been charged with jury tampering and obstruction of justice in Mecosta County. He said he was arrested on Nov. 24 under orders from District Court Judge Peter Jaklevic.

Wood said he was distributing a pamphlet to anyone who would take one. He said jurors can refuse to convict someone if they disagree with a law.

"I'm a disciple of Jesus Christ," said Wood, who explained his decision to hand out the pamphlet. "Jesus said 'the truth will set you free' and I want people to know the truth. If you don't use your rights, you lose them."

Jaklevic declined to comment. Wood returns to court on Dec. 8.

The flier is titled "What rights do you have as a juror that the judge won't tell you about?"

Wood said that other than a drunken driving charge as a teen, he has never had any run-ins with the law. He served for five years as a pastor in Colorado, leased cars for a few years and for the last five years has been a self-employed insurance broker.

Wood's attorney, David Kallman, said the incident is "outrageous." Kallman said his client had no case at the court, knew of no cases and no jury had been seated at the time he was handing out the fliers.

"The government can't just come in and step on people's First Amendment rights," Kallman said.

Published: Thu, Dec 03, 2015