Alleged Detroit Gunman Faces Weapons Crimes Accusations Re-Judge

On the evening of March 5, a 56-year-old Michigan man who is a U.S. District Court judge went to get his garbage cans from the street in front of his Detroit residence. Upon returning to his front porch, two assailants approached him from behind, demanding to be let into his home. He refused, and both the assailants fled the scene after one of the men produced a firearm and shot the judge in his right leg. A 23-year-old man accused of being the gunman is now facing several charges for weapons crimes.

In cooperation with the Violent Task Force of the FBI, the special investigations unit of the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office investigated several robberies that purportedly involved the alleged shooter and three other individuals. The suspects were reportedly active between January and May 2015, and the alleged crimes mostly involved robberies and assaults of older people. The investigation led to the arrest of the man who, according to law enforcement authorities, shot the judge.

The accused man was recently indicted on several charges, including armed robbery, felony possession of a firearm, committing a felony with a firearm, assault with murderous intent and more. He is currently held in lieu of a cash or surety bond of $500,000. Apparently, however, he was already incarcerated. Last month, the man was sentenced to a 13 to 30 year prison term after pleading guilty to weapons crimes related to other robberies.

As this Michigan weapons crimes case moves forward, the defendant's legal counsel will likely focus on an unnamed defendant who appears to have cooperated with prosecutors in exchange for favorable treatment. There is no specific information as to why this particular individual was singled out as the shooter, and just because he was convicted for other robberies does not mean he is guilty of this assault. It is not uncommon for an accused person to frame someone else to conceal his or her part in the alleged crime, though it remains to be seen how these charges will be resolved in court.

Source: Detroit Free Press, "Detroit man arraigned in shooting of federal judge", Katrease Stafford, Dec. 14, 2015

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