FLINT, MI — The disappearance of witnesses in a Mt. Morris Township homicide case has led to the adjournment of a preliminary review hearing scheduled nearly two years after the crime.
Three men – Tyren Malik Latimer, James Jamar Joy and Demario Reed Crenshaw – appeared before Genesee District Judge Mark C. McCabe on Wednesday, August 24 for a preliminary review into the November 2020 homicide of a 27-year-old man on Cyprus Drive.
But the hearing was adjourned to September 7 because two key witnesses expected to be called by Genesee Assistant District Attorney Karen Hansen were not in court, which has already happened in the case, according to defense attorneys representing the three defendants.
“We’ve tried to serve two of our witnesses and they’re either avoiding the service, or they haven’t been found,” Hansen told McCabe. “People would ask for a short adjournment to allow us to prepare material witness warrants for both of them.”
Related: Police investigate fatal shooting at Mt. Morris Township home
At approximately 2:15 p.m. on Sunday, November 22, 2020, Mt. Morris Township Police responded to the 600 block of Cyprus Drive where a 27-year-old man was fatally shot.
The victim’s aunt found her deceased nephew inside the home after the victim’s mother made several unsuccessful attempts to contact him, Mt. Morris Township Police Detective Sgt. Laurie Salem said at the time.
Investigators have recovered Ring video doorbell footage from the home that shows the two men entering through the garage to gain access to the door.
The victim’s mother received notifications about the suspects’ visit from Ring through her app.
Latimer and Crenshaw are each charged with a single count of murder, armed robbery, concealed possession of a weapon and two counts of firearm.
Joy faces seven felonies, including a single count of murder, armed robbery, carrying a concealed weapon, felon in possession of a firearm and three weapon counts fire.
Charges were initially brought against the three men in June 2021, but those charges were dismissed and prosecutors indicted the three by a one-person grand jury.
After those charges were found invalid by a decision of the Michigan Supreme Court, they were dismissed and the three defendants were arraigned again in July.
However, charges were dropped in this case after witnesses were not present during a preliminary questioning on July 29.
The three defense attorneys representing the accused men argued that the cases should be dismissed, citing that the case had been charged and dismissed several times.
“We’ve been bouncing this thing around the circuit for almost a year and then it comes down here and it gets reissued and it comes back and it gets reissued again,” said Dave Clark, Crenshaw’s attorney. “I ask the court to dismiss (the case). Prosecutors have had about a year to find these people, and it shouldn’t be that hard; Flint isn’t such a big city.
McCabe asked Salem, the investigating officer, if she was confident she would be able to find the two witnesses before the September court date. She said she “absolutely” was. She also noted that she believed the two witnesses remained in the area.
The judge also denied motions by the three attorneys arguing that their clients should be released on personal bail because they remained jailed on their charges as cases moved back and forth through the court system.
“I will deny the motions regarding each of the defendants for a public relations obligation,” McCabe said. “And hopefully we’ll have a finality on September 7 and we can see what happens.”
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