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Teen bound over for trial in school stabbing of rival

(Information from: The Detroit News,

WARREN, Mich. (AP) — A 17-year-old girl accused of fatally stabbing a classmate at their Detroit-area school in an alleged dispute over a boy has been bound over for trial.

Tanaya Lewis is charged with first-degree premeditated murder in the death of 16-year-old Danyna Gibson in a classroom at Warren Fitzgerald High School on Sept. 12.

Investigators say the attack occurred in front of a teacher and about 20 students, and that Lewis was laughing as she chased Gibson and stabbed her in the chest and back.

Judge Matthew Sabaugh ordered Lewis held in jail without bond. She’s due to be formally arraigned March 18.

The Detroit News reports Lewis, dressed in jail garb, showed little emotion during a brief hearing Friday.

She was found competent to stand trial in December.



Prosecutor: Man did illegal dental work in Michigan basement

CLINTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say a man originally from Europe illegally practiced dentistry in the basement of his suburban Detroit home and allegedly used his church to get referrals.

Leka Gjokaj (LAY’-kuh JOH’-keye) was arraigned Friday in a Macomb County court on a charge of being an unlicensed dentist. The 55-year-old Clinton Township resident was held on a $5,000 bond, but prosecutors say he may have overstayed his visa.

An Albanian interpreter was on the phone to assist Gjokaj.

Defense attorney Paul Lulgjuraj (LOO’-juh-reye) says his client is a legitimate dentist, but doesn’t know if he is licensed in Michigan.

A search found a dentist chair, an X-ray machine, molds for teeth and other items. Authorities say the man told them he was seeing one or two patients a day.

The felony is punishable by up to four years in prison. His next hearing is March 13.


ICE criticizes Michigan sheriff’s detainment warrant policy

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has criticized a Michigan sheriff’s department that released three people living in the country illegally despite federal detainment requests.

ICE says its enforcement abilities are undermined by the Kent County Sheriff’s Department policy that requires the agency to present a federal warrant when making detainment requests.

ICE says the sheriff’s office recently released a Honduran national arrested for assault with intent to murder; a Mexican national arrested for a DUI; and a Mexican national arrested for operating while intoxicated. ICE has since arrested all three.

Sheriff Michelle LaJoye-Young says the policy emphasizes due process and judicial oversight of law enforcement agencies.

The sheriff’s office enacted the policy in January after ICE arrested and detained American citizen and U.S. Marine veteran Jilmar Ramos-Gomez in December.


Man, 33, convicted of murder at 13 charged with drug crimes

PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) — A Detroit-area man who was convicted of murder at age 13 has been charged with selling heroin and methamphetamine.

Nathaniel Abraham now is 33 years old. Bond was set at $100,000 during a court appearance Friday in Farmington Hills. Outside court, attorney James Galen says his client isn’t “holding up so well.”

The Oakland County sheriff’s office says investigators seized meth, about $3,100 and digital scales at a house in Pontiac.

Abraham faces drug charges in two communities. A court hearing in Pontiac is set for Saturday.

Abraham was 11 in 1997 when he was accused of fatally shooting a stranger in Pontiac. He was convicted at age 13. He was released from state supervision in 2007 but has had subsequent legal problems.


Aretha Franklin complained about missing money before death

BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Authorities in suburban Detroit are investigating whether someone cheated singer Aretha Franklin by cashing a $178,000 check before her death last August.

Oakland County chief assistant prosecutor Paul Walton says Franklin filed a complaint with Bloomfield Township police in June about a missing check. She died weeks later of pancreatic cancer at age 76.

Walton told The Detroit News that Franklin’s death has affected the investigation. He says it’s been “difficult to determine” if she gave the check to someone who actually had permission to cash it.

He says police have talked to the person who cashed the check. He declined to release a name.

Walton says the check could become a separate issue for lawyers, family members and creditors involved in Franklin’s estate in Oakland County court.


Man arrested in slaying of 14-year-old at Michigan hotel

HOLLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say an 18-year-old man suspected in the possible gang-related slaying last month of a 14-year-old boy at a hotel in western Michigan has been arrested.

The Ottawa County sheriff’s office says Juan Sandro Cabrera was taken into custody Friday morning by Michigan State Police after investigators got “new information.” Additional details weren’t immediately released, but the sheriff’s office said an update would be issued when Cabrera has a court hearing.

Warrants were earlier issued charging Cabrera with open murder, using a firearm during a felony and being a gang member. Investigators had sought tips in the search for him.

Troy “TJ” Wells Jr. of Holland was fatally shot Feb. 16 in Holland Township. The shooting happened after authorities say two groups rented rooms at the Hampton Inn for parties.


Prisoner released; case broke ground over governor’s power

DETROIT (AP) — A Detroit-area man has been released from prison, more than eight years after then-Gov. Jennifer Granholm said he should be freed but then changed her mind before leaving office.

Matthew Makowski was released Wednesday. He spent 29 years in prison.

Granholm shortened Makowski’s life sentence in 2010, making him eligible for parole, but reversed her decision. Makowski took his case to the Michigan Supreme Court, represented by University of Michigan law professor Paul Reingold. The court in 2014 unanimously said Granholm’s reversal was illegal.

The parole board last year approved Makowski’s release. But it was delayed again by an unsuccessful legal challenge from the victim’s family.

Makowski was convicted of murder in the fatal stabbing of a Dearborn health club co-worker. Makowski wasn’t present when Pete Puma was stabbed in 1988, but he had arranged for him to be robbed.


Whitmer, citing ‘inefficiencies,’ reshapes pot licensing

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is abolishing Michigan’s medical marijuana licensing board and folding its functions into a newly created regulatory agency.

The Democrat issued an executive order Friday to create the Marijuana Regulatory Agency. She says her order will “eliminate inefficiencies that have made it difficult to meet the needs of Michigan’s medical marijuana patients.”

The board has been criticized as too slow to issue licenses to businesses following a law that instituted a tiered regulatory system. Whitmer’s order will take effect April 30 unless it is rejected by the Republican-led Legislature.

Whitmer says she received “productive input” from Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey on the issue.

The new agency also will oversee licensing in the recreational marijuana market after voters’ approval last fall of recreational pot use.


Cellist Yo-Yo Ma brings ‘Day of Action’ to Flint, Michigan

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — Yo-Yo Ma brought both music and a call for social change to Flint, Michigan.

The famed cellist performed for more than 100 fans inside a gymnasium at Berston Field House during his visit Thursday to the city that’s still feeling the effects of a lead-contaminated water crisis.

But Ma says he found a community that is about much more than “water problems.”

Called a “Day of Action,” the stop in Flint is part of an effort by the 63-year-old musician to demonstrate culture’s power to create moments of shared understanding and spur a conversation about culture and society.

As for a takeaway from his visit, Ma says it will be “an awesome respect for the people here and for the dignity that they have.”