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NEWS UPDATES

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Greektown Casino Hotel Case - At this time WCPO has not received a warrant request for this case.

Ramon Ward Exoneration Today - Ramon Ward (DOB:08/26/1975) was charged with two counts of murder in the shooting deaths of Sharon Cornell and Joan Gilliam which occurred on the night of January 21, 1994 in a vacant drug house on Moran Street in Detroit. Mr. Ward was convicted of the murders when he was 18-year-old and served 27 years in prison. The original police investigation identified no eyewitnesses. There was no physical evidence that linked Ward to the murders. As a result of investigation by the Conviction Integrity Unit other evidence showed conclusively that Mr. Ward did not commit the crimes. Today Assistant Prosecutor Valerie Newman, Director of the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office Conviction Integrity Unit, motioned to have the convictions of Ramon Ward dismissed and vacated. She was joined in the motion by Mr. Ward's attorney John Smietanka. The motion was granted by Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Donald L. Knapp.

Prosecutor Worthy said, "This is a classic example of why the CIU exists. Mr. Ward served over half of his life in prison for crimes he did not commit. His case was disturbing on several levels, and our intensive investigation showed that he is certainly entitled to the relief we requested today. We remain committed to thoroughly reviewing all CIU cases and will support Mr. Ward's anticipated state claim for relief under the Wrongful Imprisonment Compensation Act."

Friday, February 21, 2020

Greektown Casino Hotel Case - At this time WCPO has received a warrant request for this case for two defendants that is being reviewed. An update will be sent when a decision has been made.

Ohio Man Charged in Greektown Hotel Case

Prosecutor Kym Worthy has charged Marlo Smith aka Mario Smith, (DOB: 04/24/1996) of Cleveland, Ohio in connection with an incident that occurred at the Greektown Casino Hotel. On Wednesday, February 19, 2020 at 11:20 a.m. a Greektown security guard discovered an abandoned backpack near an ice machine in the Greektown Casino Hotel located at 1200 St. Antoine in Detroit. The backpack was inspected by a member of the Michigan State Police. The bag contained a weapon with one live round in the chamber that was removed. The evidence was turned over to the Detroit Police Department. It is alleged that Smith possessed a concealed weapon that he carried into the hotel. No further information in the case is being released at this time because aspects of the case remain under investigation.

Today Smith has been charged with one count of Carrying a Concealed Weapon.* The court system reflects that signed by a magistrate in 36th District Court. However, we have not been able to receive any confirmation from the court of the police that he has been or will be arraigned today. Please request a photograph of the defendant from the Detroit Police Department after the arraignment has occurred.

*The charges are allegations and defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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