THIS IS A LONG ENTRY, BUT WORTH THE READING, I THINK:
Michigan State Trooper Charged with Murder
By Michael Rosenfield
Web produced by Christine Lasek
May 9, 2005
A Michigan State Trooper is being charged with murder for a controversial shooting outside of a Detroit bar. The trooper is being asked to turn himself in.What was missing in that news account?
Family members of the victim say they are relieved that a murder charge is now being brought against the trooper. Investigators say this case has taken several weeks because it is always difficult to investigate a police agency.
Wayne Co. Prosecutor Kym Worthy announced Monday morning that Michigan State Trooper Jay Morningstar will be charged in the April 14th incident that left a homeless man dead in the street.
According to Worthy, "After a thorough investigation, we are charging Trooper Jay Morningstar with one count of murder in the 2nd degree, and a separate count of manslaughter, intentionally aimed without malice."
Trooper held in homeless man's death
$200,000 bond set; accounts of shooting differ about details
May 11, 2005
BY BEN SCHMITT
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER
The two departments have given conflicting details.
A court file says Williams, whose family said he had mental problems, was harassing customers inside the bar and broke two windows while being escorted from the bar.
Detroit police said in a report that Williams had his pants down around his knees and walked toward Morningstar before the trooper shot him.
But Sgt. Mike Herendeen, president of the Michigan State Police Troopers Association, said Williams was not partially naked. He said Williams' baggy pants were sliding down as he approached Morningstar, and his hands were in his waist area.
Morningstar said: "Stop. Show me your hands," at least twice, according to Herendeen.
"This is not something he wanted to get involved in that night," Herendeen said. "Certainly this is devastating. He's charged with a serious crime for essentially doing his job and doing it the way he was trained to do it."
THERE'S MORE HERE...
Friday, May 13, 2005
Trooper pays price for Detroit's incompetence
By Frank Beckmann / Special to The Detroit News
Frank Koss sits in the Beaubien Street Saloon, right next door to the Old Detroiter. As a pseudo-doorman, he knew Magoo (nickname for the man who was killed), all too well.
"He'd come by every other night at 9 o'clock, and I'd give him 5 bucks to keep him out of here," Koss told me. "By midnight, he was a different guy."
And what made him different? The alcohol he would buy with the money he scrounged from Koss and anyone he could panhandle. Koss says Magoo was as "mean as a snake when he got a snoot full."
He tells of Magoo threatening a couple with a screwdriver in a nearby parking lot one night "when they wouldn't give him any money."
Pointing toward Beaubien Street, Koss says Magoo was known, without provocation, to "attack moving cars out in the street. If I'm lyin', I'm dyin'!"
Jim Steel works behind the bar at Beaubien Street Saloon. Still puzzled by the events of that night, he says "I just don't understand why you don't listen to a cop."
Let's set aside for the moment the obvious involving Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy -- that she overcharged -- and move to another contemptible part of this tragedy.
At Trooper Morningstar's arraignment this week, Magistrate Sidney Barthwell Jr. (who was repremanded formally when he was a lawyer - Barthwell Jr., Sidney-Notice-NOTICE OF REPRIMAND-98-237-GA- 03/01/1999) called the defendant a danger to the community and set his bond at a staggering $200,000 at the request of Worthy's office.
This courtroom scene was pure grandstanding.
Noted Detroit criminal attorney Stephen Fishman told me, "I have represented many police officers charged with homicide. I have never had the prosecution request, nor the judge set, anything other than personal bond in those cases."
AH, THE CONCLUSION:
Let's look at what's in play here:
- The incident occurred around 1:00 am in Detroit
- The man who was killed is black and on other occasions was violent and erratic
- The officer is white
- The prosecutor is black
- The judge is black and was reprimanded as a lawyer in 1999 - maybe not the straightest arrow in the quiver???
C/O THE JAY MORNINGSTAR DEFENSE FUND
6549 CANTON CENTER RD.
CANTON, MI 48187