Monday, March 25, 2013

Kym Worthy vs. County of Wayne - Today Prosecutor Worthy has filed a Renewed Motion for Preliminary Injunction as part of her lawsuit against the County. The motion challenges the County's recent lay-off of 26 employees and refusal to fill 30 vacation staff positions. It will be heard on March 28, 2013, at 10:00 a.m. before the Honorable Wendy M. Baxter.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Former DPD Homicide Lieutenant William Rice Charged with Perjury

On March 7, 2013, the Detroit Police Department presented the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office with a warrant request in connection with the testimony given by former Detroit Police Department homicide lieutenant William Rice, 63, during an appellate court evidentiary proceeding held on October 28, 2009, in the case of the People v. Davontae Sanford. Today Rice has been charged with two counts of Perjury in a Capital Case. This is a felony that carries a penalty of any term of years up to life in prison.

Sanford was a 14- year-old juvenile at the time he was charged as an adult in the September 17, 2007 homicides of four people that occurred in the 19700 block of Runyon Street in Detroit. On March 18, 2008, during the second day of a bench trial held before Judge Brian Sullivan the defendant pleaded guilty to four counts of Second Degree Murder and one count of Felony Firearm. Sanford was sentenced to 37 to 90 years in prison on the Second Degree Murder counts and two years consecutive on the felony firearm count.

Sanford filed a motion to withdraw his guilty plea and in May, 2009 and the Court of Appeals remanded the case back to Judge Sullivan to hold an evidentiary hearing. One of the claims raised in the post-conviction motion was a claim of actual innocence based on an alibi defense. On October 28, 2009, Rice was sworn as a defense alibi witness; it is alleged that Rice gave false testimony during the proceeding. Sanford's motion to withdraw the guilty plea was later denied by Judge Sullivan on February 28, 2012, and it is currently on appeal in the Michigan Court of Appeals.

Rice was arraigned on Wednesday, March 27, 2013, at 1:00 p.m. in 36th District Court. He is currently facing charges before Judge William McConico in 36th District Court alleging that he Conducted a Continuing Criminal Enterprise with co-defendant Cheryl Sanford, who is the great aunt of Defendant Sanford.

Updated Information -The preliminary exam is scheduled for 5/13/2013 at 9:00 a.m. at the 36th District Court. The defense attorney is Tiffany McEvans. Rice waived his 14 days.

Westland Arraignment In Fatal Car Crash - Defendant Shannon Marie Gruden, 30, of Brighton, was taken into custody today and will be arraigned this afternoon in 18th District Court in Westland. We have not been given a time by the court. Gruden has been charged with Second Degree Murder, Reckless Driving Causing Death and Failure to Stop at the Scene of an Accident Resulting in Death. It is alleged that on March 21, 2013 at approximately 4:45 p.m., Gruden was driving a car when she fatally struck Amanda Marie Hall, 25, of Westland, at a location near the 32600 block of Manistee Court in Westland. Please contact the Westland Police Department for a photograph of the defendant. The preliminary examination will be held on April 4, 2013, at 8:30 a.m.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Detroit Police Officer Clifton Whatley, 34 (DOB 4/11/77), was arraigned in 23rd District Court in Taylor this morning. Since 2000, he was employed as a police officer and his most recent assignment was the day shift in the Central District office. He received a one million dollar cash bond. Whatley's preliminary examination will be held on April 8, 2013, at 9:00 a.m. It is alleged that from May 2012 through March 2013, Whatley organized and orchestrated a series of robberies throughout Wayne County, including Taylor, Westland, Canton, Harper Woods and Melvindale.

Whatley is charged with three counts of Armed Robbery, two counts of Bank Robbery, one Count of Conducting a Criminal Enterprise, three counts of Unlawful Imprisonment and Felony Firearm.

In May 2012, Armstrong, a longtime friend of Whatley, is alleged to have robbed a Check and Go located in the 9100 block of Telegraph in Taylor. Armstrong is charged with Armed Robbery, Bank Robbery and Felony Firearm. Armstrong is in custody and is expected to be arraigned on April 8, 2013 and will have his preliminary examination on the same day.

"It is alleged that Clifton Whatley has robbed victims in five of our Wayne County communities. We will vigorously present our case in court", said Prosecutor Kym L. Worthy.

Further details of the crimes will be revealed in court at the preliminary examination. Please contact the Michigan State Police for a photograph of the defendants.

# # # #