Daily Briefs . . .

Detroit-area pilot project offers jury duty rides via Uber

MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. (AP) — A pilot project in suburban Detroit is offering jury duty transportation via ride-hailing business Uber.

Macomb County Clerk Carmella Sabaugh says that when residents get a jury summons they can access up to a $20 ride each way or $40 round-trip to and from Macomb County Circuit Court in Mount Clemens.

Sabaugh says that in most cases that will cover the full cost of a ride. Jurors that live a long way away might need to pay a portion of the actual cost.

In a statement, Sabaugh says some jurors have difficulty finding transportation and some are concerned about finding parking or driving in bad weather. She says the 60-day pilot project is putting “innovation into the justice system” to ensure that defendants get a jury of their peers.


Michigan Supreme Court  overturns murder conviction

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan Supreme Court unanimously overturned a murder conviction in the death of a 3-year-old girl, saying a defense lawyer didn’t prepare for “battle” in a case that was dominated by opinions from experts.

Leo Ackley, 28, is serving a no-parole sentence in the 2011 death of his girlfriend’s daughter, Baylee Stenman. The Calhoun County prosecutor’s office accused him of fatally shaking her or striking her.

The prosecutor called five medical experts who said Baylee died from a head injury caused by abuse. Ackley said the girl must have fallen.

But Ackley’s attorney, Ken Marks, didn’t present any experts to back up that theory or to challenge the prosecutor’s experts. He consulted a doctor who warned him that he wouldn’t be a good defense witness.

“While we cannot say that a battle of the experts would have ensured the defendant’s acquittal, counsel’s failure to prepare or show up for the battle undermines our confidence in the result of the trial,” said Justice Bridget McCormack, who wrote the opinion.

Marks declined to comment on the decision. He said he’s being sued by Ackley, who could be brought to trial again.

Holiday Hours
The 36th District Court will be closed on July 3 in observance of Independence Day. The court will reopen July 6.
The Wayne County Probate Court will be closed in observance of Independence Day on Friday, July 3 and will reopen on Monday, July 6 at 8 a.m.
The Third Circuit Court Civil, Criminal and Family Divisions will be closed Friday, July 3, in observance of Independence Day.