State Roundup

Man on trial in death of 6-month-old son

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — An East Lansing man on trial in the death of his infant son says the death was an accident.
The Lansing State Journal reports 28-year-old Yumar Burks testified Monday that his 6-month-old son, Antonio, died after he tried to revive him the night of March 24, 2011. Burks described using “adult CPR” as he tried to revive Antonio. He also says he struck the infant multiple times during CPR.
Burks is charged with murder and first-degree child abuse.
The trial began last week in Ingham County Circuit Court in Lansing. It is scheduled to continue Tuesday with closing arguments.
Police have said Burks told them he fell asleep on top of Antonio, woke up and heard him gasping. Police also have said he reported accidentally dropping the child.

Mackinaw City
Tribe plans $26M casino in northern Michigan

MACKINAW CITY, Mich. (AP) — An American Indian tribe is planning a new $26 million casino in Michigan’s northern Lower Peninsula.
The Petoskey News-Review reports the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians agreed to shift $970,000 to its capital project fund for pre-construction fees and consulting for a satellite casino in Mackinaw City. A draft of minutes for a Sunday meeting included the 6-2 vote.
The tribe operates the $140 million Odawa Casino Resort in Emmet County, south of Petoskey. An agreement with the state of Michigan allows the tribe to build a second casino in Emmet County. Mackinaw City was originally considered for a casino before the Petoskey-area one was built.
The tribe says the new casino could include 550 slot machines. The Petoskey-area casino has 1,300 slot machines and other gambling.

East Lansing
2 projects aim to help Mich. guard members

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Two projects led by a Michigan State University professor aim to help Michigan National Guard members and their families in the transition from active duty to civilian life.
The East Lansing school announced Tuesday that the work by Adrian Blow and others is getting $1.5 million in funding.
A $1.3 million Defense Department grant will help them study resiliency in military families by working directly with National Guard veterans, their spouses and parents. A $200,000 grant from the Detroit-based Ethel and James Flinn Foundation will help Blow lead an effort to train mental health counselors.
Thousands of members of the Michigan National Guard have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and some face post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, unemployment and other challenges.

Foundation gives $570K to city poverty program

DETROIT (AP) — The W.K. Kellogg Foundation is awarding more than a half-million dollars to a Detroit charity to take national a program that aims to move people out of poverty.
Matrix Human Services says the $572,000 grant enables it to create a curriculum to teach other organizations its Transition to Success Model. Matrix officials say in a release that they aim to create a model that “frames and treats poverty as a disease” and connect poor people to all the programs and services they are eligible to receive.
Matrix says it helps more than 25,000 people a year through its programs.
The Battle Creek-based Kellogg Foundation works globally but focuses its grants on places where there are high concentrations of poverty.

Sharpton’s group plans rally in man’s death

SAGINAW, Mich. (AP) — The Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network says it will hold a rally in Saginaw Saturday in response to the fatal shooting of a homeless, mentally ill man in a parking lot this summer.
Police say 49-year-old Milton Hall refused to drop a knife, and six officers fired 46 shots at him, hitting him 11 times July 1.
A Saginaw police supervisor has been demoted and two officers disciplined for their roles in Hall’s death. Prosecutors and state officials have said officers wouldn’t face criminal charges.
According to WNEM-TV, the National Action Network said Monday it will continue fighting for justice in Hall’s killing and plans a demonstration on Saturday.
In addition, a group called Concerned Citizens of Saginaw plans to ask federal authorities to continue examining the case.

Medical examiner: Slain dad hit in head 4 times

TROY, Mich. (AP) — Oakland County’s chief medical examiner says a 55-year-old Troy man found dead in a cornfield was struck in the head at least four times with an “oblong blunt object” like a pipe or baseball bat.
Dr. L.J. Dragovic testified Monday during a probable cause hearing for 22-year-old Patrick Mikes Jr., who is charged with murder in his father’s death and faces up to life in prison if tried and convicted. Patrick Mikes Jr. pleaded not guilty and remains jailed.
Prosecutors say the son dumped Patrick Mikes Sr.’s body in Genesee County’s Montrose Township. The body was found Aug. 10.
After several hours of testimony Monday, a district court judge said he’ll hear closing arguments Oct. 1 and decide whether to send the case against Patrick Mikes Jr. to circuit court.

Man accused in sex assault attains plea deal

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — Prosecutors have reached a plea agreement with a man authorities have said sexually assaulted one woman and tried to attack another at a Flint church.
The Flint Journal reports Albert Haymer pleaded guilty Monday in Genesee County Circuit Court to one count of assaulting/resisting/obstructing a police officer. The 49-year-old also acknowledged habitual offender second-conviction status as part of the plea.
Two other assaulting/resisting/obstructing a police officer charges were dismissed.
Haymer initially was charged with one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct in an incident that took place March 27 at the First Presbyterian Church of Flint. But those charges were dismissed after the victim failed to show up in court.
Haymer is to be sentenced on Nov. 5.

Lawyer recalls 2011 car bombing in TV interview

MONROE, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan lawyer and his sons who survived a car bomb last year say they've recovered from their injuries and the emotional toll of the attack, and that they're trying to move forward even as investigators seek a suspect in the attack.
Erik Chappell and the boys, Grant and Cole, were injured when the bomb exploded while they were riding last September on a road in Monroe, about 35 miles southwest of Detroit. They discussed the case in an interview that aired on television station WXYZ Monday night.
Chappell said the blast initially left him dazed. Grant, riding in the front passenger seat, was 13 at the time and Cole, in the back seat was 11.
“You really didn't hear the explosion, but you were engulfed in the explosion,” Chappell said.
The boys got out of the car, which became engulfed in flames.
“I didn't know what was going on,” Cole said. “So I just got up because I heard my dad screaming.”
The family lives in the Monroe area near the Michigan-Ohio border. Chappell has said he believes he knows who committed the crime, but hasn't publicly named that person.
“It’s inexcusable, it’s a cowardly act,” Chappell said.
The bombing is under investigation. Earlier this year, authorities doubled the reward in the case to $20,000 and pleaded with the public for information. The bomb attached to the bottom of Chappell's Volvo had components from a remote-controlled toy vehicle, the government has said.