Victims of the State

29 Cases

Map of Counties

U.S. Cases


County:   Berrien   Genesee   Huron   Ingham
Jackson   Kent   Macomb   Newaygo
Oakland   Otsego   Saginaw   St. Clair   Wayne

Berrien County, MI
Maurice Carter
Dec 20, 1973

Maurice Carter was convicted of the attempted murder of Thomas Schadler, an off-duty Benton Harbor police officer. Schadler was shopping with his wife at the Harbor Wig and Record Shop on East Main Street in Benton Harbor when a man suddenly and without provocation pulled a .22-caliber pistol and shot him six times. There were twelve eyewitnesses to the crime.
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Berrien County, MI
Efren Paredes, Jr.
Mar 8, 1989 (St. Joseph)

Efren Paredes Jr. was convicted of the armed robbery and murder of his employer, Rick Tetzlaff. Paredes, then 15, worked as a grocery bagger at Roger's Vineland Foods. He worked the evening of the murder, and was asked by Tetzlaff to stay late because there was more work that day due to it being a double coupon day. At 8:45 p.m. Efren called his mother for permission. She agreed but said Efren had to be home by 9:30 as it was a school night. Efren's mother stated that Tetzlaff told her that he would drive Efren home himself, “as soon as we're done.” These conversations were corroborated by the trial testimony of a prosecution witness, Pam Koebel, an employee of the store. Efren punched out of work at 9:22, and Tetzlaff drove him home. Typically Tetzlaff worked to 10 p.m. on double coupon days, and presumably returned directly to the store.
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Berrien County, MI
Mickey Davis
Oct 6, 1995 (Benton Harbor)

Mickey Lee Davis was convicted of murder for allegedly shooting to death his wife, Priscilla, in her parent's home. Priscilla's Certificate of Death stated that she died at 7:15 p.m. in Benton Harbor, but cell phone records indicate that at 7:01 p.m., Davis made a two-minute phone call from Paw Paw, 27 miles away.

Prior to trial, the state's key witness, Melissa Peters, recanted her statements against Davis at a court hearing. She said, “Mickey Davis over there had nothing to do with this. Okay? I'm sorry, everything that I have said has not been the truth. I have to now say everything that has happened. Every one of my statements needs to be removed. They are not true.” Upon hearing this recantation, the prosecution stopped the hearing, despite defense objections, and asked for a continuance. It received a continuance and at later hearings, including Davis's trial, Peters resumed her original testimony. Peters, who was known to be 17-years-old six months before the murder, also testified she had never previously been in trouble, never been arrested, or convicted of any crime. The prosecution withheld evidence from the defense that she had a criminal history in several states as a juvenile.  (MLDS) (JD)  [3/07]

Genesee County, MI
William Hetherington
Sept 24, 1985

William J. “Wil” Hetherington was convicted of raping his wife, Linda. Previous to the passage of a new Michigan law, a husband could be convicted of assaulting his wife, but not raping her, as consent to sex was viewed a part of the marriage contract. The new rape law only applied to married couples who lived separately. A divorce court had frozen all Hetherington's assets so he had no money to hire a lawyer or make bond. Nevertheless, the criminal court ruled that he was not indigent and refused to provide him with a lawyer. There was no physical evidence. A pelvic examination of Linda at a hospital three hours after the alleged offense showed no evidence of injury or forced penetration. The examining doctor described the lack of evidence as “very unusual.”
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Genesee County, MI
Sharee Miller
Nov 9, 1999 (Flint)

While married to a different man, Sharee Miller had an online romance with an ex-police detective, Jerry Cassaday, from Reno, Nevada, whom she met on the Internet. Sharee had told him numerous lies such as being wealthy. She had also traveled to Reno five times and had a physical affair. In her emails, she said she was married to a terminally ill husband, Jeff, who would die soon and that they could be together soon. Then she told him her husband died, but she had to marry his brother, Bruce, because of family pressure. She twice told Jerry she was pregnant with his child.
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Huron County, MI
Dr. Robert MacGregor
Aug 4, 1911

Dr. Robert MacGregor was convicted of the murder of 20-year-old Scyrel Sparling. Circumstances surrounding Scyrel's death in 1911 were unfortunate. His father had died in 1908 and two of his brothers died in 1910 and 1911. Arsenic was reportedly found in Scyrel's body. The arsenic finding, if true, may have been due to medicines he had taken. MacGregor's alleged motive in the killing was that his modest doctor fees could be paid from Scyrel's life insurance proceeds.

After Michigan Governor Ferris received an appeal on MacGregor's behalf, he had the case reinvestigated. The results of the reinvestigation were not made public, so it is not known what facts it established. Nevertheless, in 1916, the Governor issued MacGregor a full and unconditional pardon. The Governor took the unusual step of having MacGregor brought to the state capital at Lansing where he handed him the pardon personally. In his statement the Governor said, “I am firmly convinced that Dr. MacGregor is absolutely innocent of the crime for which he was convicted.”  (CTI) (The Sparling Murders) (People v. MacGregor)  [10/08]

Ingham County, MI
David Draheim
Aug 10, 1989

David Draheim was convicted of rape and sentenced to 40 to 80 years. A comparison of his accuser's past and later testimony reveals major credibility problems. Draheim has passed five lie detector tests administered by the Michigan State Police and a truth serum test administered by a licensed psychologist.  (Info)  [3/05]

Ingham County, MI
Claude McCollum
Jan 23, 2005

Claude McCollum was convicted of the rape and murder of 60-year-old Lansing Community College Professor Carolyn Kronenberg. The crime occurred in her classroom. Police had McCollum speculate on whether he could have committed the crime while sleepwalking. They then termed his speculation a “confession.” DNA tests of material found under Kronenberg's fingernails excluded McCollum and matched the profile of an unknown male.

New evidence points to serial rapist/killer Matthew Macon as the man who attacked Kronenberg. The state has been urged to compare the DNA evidence to that of Macon. Also a videotape has surfaced which apparently shows McCollum to be elsewhere on the college campus at the time of Kronenberg's murder. On Sept. 24, 2007, a court has overturned McCollum's conviction and charges against him were subsequently dismissed.  (Lansing State Journal) (Case Documents)  [09/07]

Jackson County, MI
Robert Farnsworth, Jr.
Mar 11, 1999 (Jackson)

Robert Farnsworth, Jr. worked as a manager of a Wendy's restaurant. As part of his duties, he placed the day's receipts in two deposit bags and dropped them in the night depository of the restaurant's bank. The next day the bank found only one bag. The missing bag contained $2,289.20. Farnsworth insisted that he deposited two bags, but his boss at Wendy's did not believe him and fired him about a month later.

Later while being questioned by police, Farnsworth confessed to stealing the money. He immediately recanted his confession stating he was badgered into confessing, but his confession, however temporary, was used to convict him. At his July 1999 trial, bank employees testified that it was “absolutely impossible” for a deposit placed in the night depository to be lost.

In Feb. 2000, the owner of a car wash dropped a deposit in the same night depository and it too ended up missing. The car wash owner knew the bank president, and on Feb. 28, the depository was opened and inspected. Three deposit bags were found, the missing bag deposited by Farnsworth, the bag deposited by the car wash owner, and a third bag containing a deposit from a Rite Aid store that had not been reported missing. On May 8, a judge vacated Farnsworth's conviction and ordered that police records concerning him be destroyed.  (JD)  [3/07]

Kent County, MI
Lisa Hansen
Sept 3, 2005 (Grand Rapids)

Lisa Hansen was fined $400 and sentenced to 40 hours of community service for stealing a bank deposit bag that she was supposed to deposit in a night depository. The deposit bag contained mostly checks and only $80 in cash. A bank security investigator told police that the bank's 15 surveillance cameras showed no one had stopped at the night depository during the time Hansen said she was there. Hansen also failed a lie detector test administered by the Michigan State Police. Nearly a year later, on Aug. 9, 2006, a bank worker found Hansen's deposit bag lodged and hidden within the bank's depository.  (Detroit Free Press)  [3/07]

Macomb County, MI
Lloyd Prevost
Dec 24, 1919

Lloyd Prevost was convicted murdering his wife's cousin and best friend, J. Stanley Brown. Brown was found dead in his car on Drefahl Road, 3 miles west of Mount Clemens. Brown had been shot four times. The coroner placed the time of death at about 11 p.m. The prosecution alleged that Prevost had left his hotel room with Brown at 10:30 p.m. on the night of the murder and had returned alone at 2 a.m. after the murder. The case had the direct assistance of state Attorney General Alexander Groesbeck, who later became Governor. The Michigan Department of Public Safety reinvestigated the case in the fall of 1930.

In its report the DPS indicated the following: (1) For weeks prior to the trial, prosecution witnesses were thoroughly drilled in midnight sessions by the Attorney General. The Prosecuting Attorney told the DPS that he “did not believe Prevost was guilty of the crime,” and that the conviction was obtained largely through the overawing influence of the Attorney General with the jury. (2) The testimony of a taxi driver who said he saw Prevost with Brown after 10:30 p.m. was perjured. (3) The testimony of the ballistics expert was mistaken, for the revolver presented at trial could not have been the murder weapon. (4) The killer's footprints in the snow were made by rubbers, not by army shoes as alleged by the prosecution. Prevost admitted wearing army shoes on the night of the murder. However, his feet were too small to have made the footprints had he been wearing rubbers. (5) The testimony of the hotel proprietress that Brown had returned to the hotel at 2 a.m. was perjured.

One might also surmise that the testimony of the ballistics expert was knowingly perjured for he claimed to have determined that when last fired the alleged murder weapon was fired four times. In addition to the DPS report, convincing information seems to have been presented to the authorities indicating rather pointedly who the true perpetrators were. In view of all the facts and circumstances, it was concluded that Prevost was innocent. Governor Fred W. Green pardoned Prevost in Dec. 1930.  (CTI)  [11/07]

Macomb County, MI
Louis Abraham Nasir
May 1965 (Warren)

“Louis Nasir was once arrested for commission of a crime as the result of mistaken identification. Although no charges were brought his picture was taken and found its way into the ‘mug book.’ Several years later in May of 1965, a bandit wearing wraparound sunglasses and a straw hat held up a credit union in Warren and escaped with almost $5,000.00. There were three witnesses, the manager, an employee named Dimples Anderson and a credit union customer. On the afternoon of the robbery the manager and Dimples were unable to select anyone from a mug book and were unable to select anyone from a lineup in which Louis Nasir was not present. The day after the robbery the manager and the employee picked Nasir from a mug book and also picked him in a one-man ‘show-up’ from behind a one-way glass. On the following Monday all three witnesses picked Nasir from a lineup that did not appear unfair in itself from the record, absent any prior suggestion in the one-man photo show-up or any suggestion that may have occurred in the use of photographs.”

“Nasir was tried for robbery and the sole issue was identification. Despite the testimony of six witnesses who said they saw Nasir at work the day of the robbery, the jury believed the identification testimony of the credit union manager, Dimples Anderson and the customer and returned a verdict of guilty. Nasir was sentenced to serve 7 to 20 years in prison.”

“The court-appointed attorney who was to prosecute the appeal was convinced of Nasir’s innocence and enlisted the aid of the two detectives who helped convict Nasir. Working together, the three men found the man who confessed to being an accomplice to the crime. The real robber, who resembled Nasir, had been shot to death in February, 1966. A friend of the dead man, who was serving time in Jackson, corroborated the story by revealing that the crime had been admitted to him before the death of the real culprit.*”

“An hour after Nasir took lie detector tests he was freed on bond pending a new trial and the charges were dismissed on motion of the prosecutor. Nasir had spent 375 days in prison.” – P v A
*The credit union customer turned out to be involved in the robbery and admitted his perjured testimony. However, this witness had no impact or contact with the other two witnesses who made their ‘positive’ and unshakable identifications 3 times before the customer was even available to view a lineup.

Macomb County, MI
Cristini & Moldowan
Aug 9, 1990 (Warren)

Michael Cristini and Jeffrey Moldowan were convicted of the kidnapping and rape of Moldowan's ex-girlfriend, Maureen Fournier. Two other men identified by Fournier were not prosecuted. Dr. Allan Warnick, a forensic odontologist, testified that bite marks on Fournier's body had come from both defendants. Both defendants had alibis and Fournier's medical exam indicated neither that she was raped nor did it detect the presence of sperm. Cristini was sentenced to 44 to 60 years of imprisonment while Moldowan was sentenced to four terms of 60 to 90 years. Warnick's bite mark testimony was later discredited, leading to retrials in 2003 and 2004, at which both defendants were acquitted.  (JD) (Jim Fisher) (Appeals)  [9/05]

Macomb County, MI
Kenneth Wyniemko
Apr 30, 1994 (Clinton Twp)

Kenneth Wyniemko was convicted of repeatedly raping a 28-year-old woman over a four hour period and stealing about $3,000 from her. Police officers apparently coached a jailhouse informant to falsely testify against Wyniemko. DNA tests freed Wyniemko from his 60-year sentence in 2003. In 2005, the 54-year-old Wyniemko was awarded $1.8 million plus $6,409 per month for the rest of his life. The monthly payment will increase 3% per year and is payable for a minimum of 20 years, so the total award will exceed $3.8 million.  (IP) (Detroit Free Press) (JD)  [9/06]

Macomb County, MI
Nathaniel Hatchett
Nov 11, 1996

Nathaniel Hatchett was sentenced to 25 to 40 years in prison for kidnapping and raping a 23-year-old Sterling Heights woman. After accosting the victim in the parking lot of a Super Kmart at 14 Mile and Van Dyke, a gunman forced her into her car, drove away, and raped her. Hatchett was arrested three days later in the woman's 1990 Dodge Spirit. He admitted stealing the car and the victim identified him as her assailant. Following a seven-hour interrogation in which investigators promised Hatchett a deal, he confessed to the crime. DNA tests, however, showed that the sperm left in the victim did not match him. At Hatchett's bench trial, Judge George Steeh convicted him after ruling that the lack of a DNA match could “hardly be found to represent a reasonable doubt considering all of the evidence in the case.”

Years later, after Prosecutor Eric Smith reinvestigated the case, apparently at the request of the Innocence Project, he dismissed charges against Hatchett. Hatchett walked free in April 2008.  (Detroit Free Press)  [5/08]

Macomb County, MI
New Baltimore Three
Oct 21, 2000

Jonathan Kaled, 18, Matthew Daniels, 16, and Frank Kuecken, 19, were charged with murdering Justin Mello, and with armed robbery and with conspiracy to commit murder. Mello was a teenager who was found shot dead in Mancino's Pizza and Grinders in New Baltimore, after a robbery. Mello's murder shocked the New Baltimore community, which had not had a fatal shooting in 30 years. Kaled and Kuecken initially confessed to the crimes, but later recanted, claiming that the police coerced them. Other individuals claimed that the three suspects had been present at a party miles away from New Baltimore at the time of the crime. In light of the suspects' confessions, police did not take these alibi witnesses seriously and threatened them with obstruction of justice charges if they persisted in providing alibis.
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Newaygo County, MI
Larry Souter
Aug 25, 1979

Larry Pat Souter was convicted in 1992 of the 1979 murder of 19-year-old Kristy Ringler. One evening, Souter had met Ringler at a bar and became friendly with her. When the bar closed at 2:20 a.m., the two left with several others to continue the party at the home of Anna Mae Carpenter, which is located off of M37 (State Route 37). While everyone else was inside, Souter and Ringler went out into the front yard of the house and became amorous. At some point Ringler decided to go home, walking northbound along M37. Souter followed her for 20 to 25 feet, trying to persuade her to come back and get a ride, but he soon abandoned his efforts and returned to the party.
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Oakland County, MI
Gary Lee Morris
1992 - 93

Gary Lee Morris was convicted of sexually assaulting his 13-year-old granddaughter. Morris had evicted his daughter from a trailer owned by his mother. His daughter had paid the rent for years but fell way behind after she began hanging out with a drug-using boyfriend. Shortly after her eviction, his daughter's daughter brought these charges against Morris. Morris's granddaughter claimed he raped her, but a medical exam showed that her hymen was still intact and that she was a virgin. Morris is serving a 20 to 40 year sentence.  (JD)  [9/05]

Oakland County, MI
Dr. Jack Kevorkian
Sept 17, 1998

Dr. Jack Kevorkian was convicted of murdering 52-year-old Thomas Youk. Youk was terminally ill and suffered from Lou Gehrig's disease. Youk wanted to commit suicide as a means to end his suffering and enlisted the aid of physician Kevorkian to ensure that it was done right. Kevorkian videotaped Youk's consent to his assistance and the assisted suicide. Kevorkian aired the tape to a national audience on the 60 Minutes TV show. Physicians reportedly assist the terminally ill end their lives all the time and they are not even investigated, but Kevorkian's crime was to document his assistance. Kevorkian was paroled in June 2007.  [10/05]

Oakland County, MI
James Perry
Oct 2005 (Oak Park)

James Perry, a kindergarten teacher at Key Elementary School in Oak Park, was convicted of sexually assaulting two boys, ages 4 and 5 based on the boys' testimony. The complaint began when the mother of the 5-year-old complained her son had been “tea-bagged” – slang for oral sex. She also said her son had been the victim of a similar assault in Chicago. Under questioning, the 5-year-old identified Perry and said he was only fondled, but said another boy, the 4-year-old, had been “tea-bagged.” The 4-year-old initially denied being assaulted.

At trial, the boys claimed to have been pulled from a lunch line and assaulted in an empty Special Education classroom during lunchtime. However, post-conviction interviews with school personnel indicate that the classroom always contained students who do not go out for lunch, and at least one teacher to watch over them.

Because of the discrepancies, which were reported in the Detroit Free Press, Perry's conviction was overturned and he was retried in Mar. 2008. The trial resulted in a mistrial with 11 jurors favoring acquittal and one juror holding out for a conviction. Charges against Perry were dropped in Aug. 2008.  (DFP 2008)  [3/07]

Otsego County, MI
Tobias Five
Dec 6, 1986 (Gaylord)

Five men were convicted of charges related to the murder of 31-year-old oil field worker Jerry Tobias. It was argued by some that Tobias overdosed on drugs, went to sleep in the bed of a pickup, and froze to death without waking up. The truck where Tobias's body was found was parked by a butcher shop owned by Laurie Moore.
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Saginaw County, MI
Alexander Ripan
Oct 25, 1919

Alexander Ripan was convicted of the murder of Luca Tirpula, a prosperous farmer. The crime occurred near Saginaw, MI. Ripan was convicted because his revolver had been fired recently, and a bullet taken from Tirpula's body dropped easily through the barrel of the gun. In 1929, after serving ten years of imprisonment, Ripan escaped prison, but was rearrested six years later. The prosecutor, Crane, who had brought Ripan to trial was by then not satisfied with his conviction and worked to get Ripan a new trial. In 1939, at Ripan's new trial, an expert testified that in light of recent discoveries in ballistics, the evidence that convicted him now exonerated him: A bullet fired from a revolver could not afterwards be reinserted into the same gun except with great difficulty. The trial judge subsequently dismissed the murder indictment against Ripan.  (Not Guilty)  [10/08]

St. Clair County, MI
Frederick Freeman
Nov 5, 1986

Frederick Freeman was convicting of murdering Scott Macklem in the parking lot of the St. Clair County Community College. At least 16, and as many as 19 witnesses put Freeman 460 miles from the murder scene in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, the night before, the morning, the day of, and the night after the murder. A team of advocates, from former FBI agents to a veteran TV newsman, says Freeman was railroaded while the real killer remains free.  (Case Website) (Metro Times) (MT2) (MT3) (DFP)

Wayne County, MI
Lonnie Jenkins
Oct 15, 1931

Lonnie Jenkins was convicted of the murder of his wife. Initially a Coroner's jury found that Mrs. Jenkins had committed suicide by shooting herself. However, Jenkins was later arrested for her murder. At trial a 17-year-old girl who lived at the Jenkins' home testified she had written his wife's suicide note at his dictation. Jenkins' daughter (who was 12 at the time of the shooting) later brought the note to the attention of FBI experts who determined the handwriting on the note was that of Mrs. Jenkins. Jenkins conviction was vacated in Dec. 1940; he was released after serving 9 years in prison.  (The Innocents) (News Article) (Photo)  [12/10]

Wayne County, MI
Charles Lee Clark
Nov 23, 1937 (Hamtramck)

“On November 23, 1937, three men held up a clothing store in Hamtramck. The owner was shot and killed. The owner’s daughter, who was 21 years old at the time, went to the assistance of her father and was slugged with a revolver by one of the robbers. Charles Clark was later identified by the girl in a lineup as the man who shot her father. One of the other defendants implicated Clark in an initial statement, but he and two others said at the trial later that Clark had no part in it. Clark’s landlady testified that he was home all that day. Nevertheless, Clark was convicted primarily on the identification testimony of the young woman and was sentenced to life imprisonment.”

“Clark tried for a new trial several times over the 30 years imprisonment, but it was denied each time. Partly because Clark was an exemplary prisoner he was offered parole by the prison authorities and later was offered a pardon and commutation of sentence, but he turned these down because acceptance of such terms would have been a tacit admission of guilt. At one point in a quest for a new trial he was offered the opportunity to plead to a lesser charge, the sentence of which would have freed him immediately. Again he refused.”

“Finally in 1968 the case was assigned to the Legal Aid & Defenders Association of Detroit. The attorneys researched early transcripts and discovered that the victim’s daughter, the sole identifying witness, had originally said that she could not identify Clark as one of the bandits. In an affidavit in support of the motion for a new trial the witness revealed that after she said she could not identify the defendant, the Hamtramck detectives had pointed Clark out as the guilty man before the lineup. Clark was granted a new trial in 1968 and the case was dismissed on motion of the prosecutor.” – P v A

In 1972 the Michigan legislature awarded Clark $10,000 for his 30 years of wrongful imprisonment.  (MOJ)  [1/11]

Wayne County, MI
Walter A. Pecho
June 9, 1954 (Detroit)

“Walter A. Pecho [an Oldsmobile plant worker] was wrongly accused and convicted of murdering his wife [Eleanor] after he called police to report that she had committed suicide by shooting herself with a shotgun. He was convicted on the testimony of the prosecution's pathologist erroneous conclusion that Pecho's wife didn't commit suicide. In 1950 he was pardoned by Michigan [Governor] Mennen Williams and freed after 6 years imprisonment when his wife's ring fingerprint was found on the trigger guard of the shotgun.” – FJDB  (Time)

Wayne County, MI
Lipton Three
Oct 4, 1960 (Detroit)

Linberg Hall, Robert Clark, and Secola Kuykendall were convicted of the shooting murder of David Lipton, the proprietor of a drug store. Lipton was shot during a holdup of his store. At trial, Hall's girlfriend testified she accompanied the men in Clark's car to the drug store and heard shots fired while she remained outside. Following the murder, the girlfiend said she left with Hall in another car on a road trip to Chicago. Evidence, however, indicated this road trip began a half-hour before the murder.

Following trial, a defense attorney and a newspaper reporter got a tape-recorded statement from the girlfriend admitting she lied at trial. She said police promised to drop charges that she was facing in exchange for implicating the three men. After police subsequently talked to her, she repudiated this admission, claiming her trial testimony was truthful and that she only gave the taped statement in an effort to save Hall, her boyfriend. Eventually, however, physical evidence matched other individuals to the crime, to which they confessed. The convictions of Hall, Clark, and Kuykendall were then overturned and they were set free.  (The Innocents) (People v. Kelley)  [12/10]

Wayne County, MI
Eddie Joe Lloyd
Jan 24, 1984 (Detroit)

Eddie Joe Lloyd was convicted of the brutal murder of 16-year-old Michelle Jackson. Lloyd, a mentally ill man, wrote to police from a mental institution with suggestions on how to solve various murders, including the murder for which he was convicted. Police officers visited him and convinced the heavily medicated Lloyd that by confessing to one murder, he would help them “smoke out” the real perpetrator. Lloyd's defense attorney wanted him to plead not guilty by reason of insanity, but Lloyd refused insisting that he was innocent even if he was mentally ill. The sentencing judge thought Lloyd should be hanged, and the case convinced many people who had reservations about capital punishment to jump over the fence and sign petitions. However, DNA tests exonerated Lloyd in 2002.  (IP) (NY Times)  [7/05]

Wayne County, MI
Dominique Brim
Apr 15, 2002 (Lincoln Park)

A security guard at the Sears store in Lincoln Park stopped a woman leaving the store on April 15, 2002 with $1,300 in unpaid merchandise. In an attempt to get away, the woman severely bit the guard. After being arrested, the woman was taken to a police station where she told police her address, her phone number, that she was 15-years-old, and that her name was Dominique Brim. She was allowed to leave without being booked.

Two weeks later, 15-year-old Dominique Brim was charged with retail fraud and felony assault. She claimed she had not been at the store on April 15 and that she had not been arrested. In court, several Sears employees, including the security guard, identified her as the person who was apprehended and who bit the guard. The judge did not believe Brim's mistaken identity defense and convicted her on both counts.

However, Brim's vehement claim that she was the wrong person did impress Sears officials enough to review their store videotape of the April 15 incident. They discovered that Brim was not the person who was involved in the incident. After the prosecutor and Brim's lawyer were contacted, the judge vacated her conviction before she was sentenced. The woman on the tape was later identified as Chalaunda Latham. She was not 15-years-old, she was 25. Latham was able to pass herself off as Brim because she was a friend of Brim's sister. Prosecutors decided not to charge Latham because the Sears employees had already given sworn testimony that Brim was responsible for the theft and security guard assault.  (Justice: Denied)  [3/07]