2017-09-13 / News

Trial set for man accused of attempted murder in Elba Twp.

810-452-2609 • adietderich@mihomepaper.com

LAPEER — A trial date has been set for a Lapeer County case stemming from an alleged drug deal gone bad that could lead to life in prison for a Flint man accused of assault with intent to murder.

Deonte Kinwan McCoy, 39, has been in Lapeer County Jail for more than a year — held on a $250,000 bond — after being charged with two counts of assault with intent to murder, two counts of felony firearms, possession of firearms by a felon, and possession of a controlled substance (cocaine).

A trial date of Oct. 17 has been set by Lapeer County Circuit Court Judge Nick Holowka, who said he considers the charges levied against McCoy a “very serious matter.”

McCoy, a parolee for a little over eight months at the time of the alleged July 2016 incident, has switched attorneys several times since being taken into custody.

The register of actions in the case is five pages long.

The County Press asked Lapeer County Prosecuting Attorney Mike Sharkey why it’s taken so long to get the case resolved.

“Good question,” he said.

Sharkey, elected last November, said one of the first things he did after taking office was “prioritize efforts,” and that the process included seeing “who was in jail, why they were in jail, and how long they were in jail.”

“Because it’s costing us an arm and a leg to house these people,” Sharkey said. “They either belong in the (Michigan) Dept. of Corrections, or they belong in some sort of other sentencing, or they need to have their trial, and if they’re truly innocent, they don’t need to be in jail.”

According to figures provided by the Lapeer County Sheriff’s Dept., the cost to house an inmate for a day is $35.

McCoy has been incarcerated since July 26, 2016, said Undersheriff Jeremy Howe.

At 413 days through Tuesday, that’s a bill of $14,455. (Howe noted medical costs could also be factored in.) After inmates are sentenced, they are billed. However, Howe said the department usually only sees 7 to 10 percent of the money.

Sharkey said the McCoy case is one he inherited from the previous prosecuting attorney and “unfortunately, has had problems.”

“We believe he’s had as many as four different attorneys appointed,” Sharkey said. “He has difficulty getting along with these attorneys. Anytime an attorney replaces an attorney, they need time to be brought up to speed, time to evaluate the file, and that is at least part of the reason for the delay.”

Sharkey called it a “terrible situation” and that his office “is doing the best we can to deal with it.”

A preliminary exam held in Lapeer County District Court was held Aug. 26, 2016.

A transcript from the exam includes testimony from witnesses to the incident that led to McCoy’s arrest and subsequent incarceration.

During testimony, witnesses alleged an argument over money owed to McCoy for cocaine spiraled out of control and ultimately came to a head at a Genesee Road home in Elba Township where two men were shot on July 2, 2016. The case was bound over to circuit court at the conclusion of the exam.

McCoy, previously sentenced twice on drug-related charges, is being represented by Lapeer attorney David W. Brown, who could not be reached by press time.

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