2017-12-06 / Front Page

Flint man sentenced to 25 years in prison for attempted murder

BY ANDREW DIETDERICH
810-452-2609 • adietderich@mihomepaper.com

LAPEER — A Flint man was sentenced Tuesday in Lapeer County Circuit Court to a minimum of 25 years in prison for a 2016 attempted murder in Elba Township.

Deonte Kinwan McCoy, 39, has been in Lapeer County Jail for more than a year — previously held on a $250,000 bond — after he was initially 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A jury found McCoy guilty on Oct. 24, and bond was withdrawn.

Lapeer County Circuit Court Judge Nick Holowka sentenced McCoy to 25 years on the intent to murder charges and two years for the possession of firearms and controlled substance charges, to be served consecutive with the 25 years (for a minimum of 27 years). Lapeer County Prosecuting Attorney David Campbell noted McCoy still is facing other charges in Genesee County.

At the time of the July 2, 2016 incident in Elba Township, McCoy was a parolee from previous drug-related convictions for a little over eight months.

Arrested on July 26, 2016, a preliminary examination held a month later in Lapeer County District Court first provided details of what happened that night.

Essentially, witnesses said 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.

For more than a year, McCoy sat in Lapeer County Jail, switching lawyers several times before the case went to trial in October.

Following the Oct. 24 conviction of McCoy, the Lapeer County Sheriff’s Dept. issued a press release confirming McCoy shot a 32-year-old resident who was transported to McLaren Lapeer Region for life-threatening injuries. A second person, a 41-year-old male from Lapeer, was shot at but not hit, police said.

McCoy was located “within 24 minutes (within a mile from the residence)” where he was arrested.

Immediately before delivering the court’s sentence on Tuesday, Holowka told McCoy he is “an enigma.”

“You appear to be a very intelligent, highly motivated, well-educated individual,” Holowka said. “I don’t know what caused you to do what you did.”

With regard to the weapon used in the attempted murder, Holowka said McCoy was “given an opportunity to get rid of that gun.”

“And you chose not to,” Holowka said, who would go on to call McCoy’s actions of July 2, 2016 “out of character.”

McCoy was represented during the trial by Lapeer attorney David W. Brown.

During the trial, Brown unsuccessfully tried to argue that the investigation into the shooting incident was flawed.

Brown also filed several objections on behalf of McCoy to the pre-sentence investigation report that is used by courts in determining appropriate sentencing guidelines based on a scoring system.

Holowka ruled that, for the most part, the scoring used for McCoy was appropriate.

McCoy had an opportunity to address the court before Holowka handed down the court’s sentence.

McCoy said the entire situation has allowed him to find God while in Lapeer County Jail.

“As I stand before you today, I thank God for changing my life,” McCoy said. “In these 16 months I’ve been locked up I’ve had an opportunity to finally recommit my life back to God.”

He noted he has regularly attended Bible studies, and participated in the jail’s Scared Straight program as a mentor.

McCoy said he has “had time to reflect mentally, physically, and emotionally in which I’ve asked God to forgive me and I know that in my heart he does.”

“Someone asked me the question, now that you’re facing life, what is your vision?” McCoy said. “So I say ‘Vision is the ability to see God’s presence, to perceive God’s power, and to focus on God’s plan in spite of the obstacles.”

Also prior to sentencing, Michelle Horning, the fiancée of one of the men shot by McCoy, read a victims impact statement into the record.

“We really got to see who the real Deonte McCoy was that night,” she said. “A cold, heartless, mean person who didn’t give two thoughts (to) how valuable a human life is.”

Horning also told McCoy “that you and I both know, you are going to face your demons and be put away for a very, very long time.”

“I know you feel no remorse for what you did and probably never will,” she said. “But that’s OK. You have to live with that every single day you wake up in a prison cell.”

Once Holowka handed down his sentence and McCoy was being lead out of the courtroom by deputies for the Lapeer County Sheriff’s Dept., he told Holowka to “have a nice day.”

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