Bar 7 pretrial extended to fourth day, defense claims gang activity

By: Kayla Dimick | Southfield Sun | Published April 27, 2017

SOUTHFIELD — The pretrial for the brothers accused of injuring three men during a shooting at a local bar has been scheduled for its fourth hearing.

The brothers, Alonzo Beckom and Carlos Beckum, appeared before Judge Shelia Johnson April 19 in 46th District Court for a continuation of their probable cause hearing from March 22.

Beckom, 21, and Beckum, 24, both of Detroit, were arrested Dec. 1 in connection with a Nov. 19 shooting at Bar 7, 24528 W. 12 Mile Road.
Police say the brothers are responsible for shooting three men during an altercation at the bar. The injuries were not considered life-threatening.

At their arraignment Dec. 2 in front of Magistrate Robin Dillard-Russaw, the men were charged with three counts of assault with intent to murder, three counts of felony firearm and one count of discharge of a firearm in an occupied building. Bond was set at $500,000 cash or surety during the arraignment.

At their March 22 hearing, Johnson decided to lower the men’s bond to $100,000. She ordered the men to not have contact with any of the police officers involved in the case, any shooting victims or any Bar 7 employees.

The men will wear tethers through the duration of their trial, and they cannot use any drugs or alcohol, she said.

On Feb. 15, Detective Michael Morrish, of the Southfield Police Department, was the first and only person to testify. Morrish told the court that he obtained surveillance video from inside and outside the establishment. Morrish said he works as a digital forensic examiner at the Southfield Police Department, examining cellphones, computers and information systems for the department.

The surveillance video appears to show Beckom and Beckum entering the building, an altercation that leads to the shooting, the men firing the shots, people falling to the floor, and the two men exiting the building, Morrish said.

During the March 22 hearing, Morrish continued testimony from Feb. 15. The defense team took issue with the fact that Morrish was present in the hospital room while officers were interviewing the men involved in the altercation.

Also during the March 22 hearing, one of the men involved in the altercation testified. The man told the court that he does not remember words being exchanged between his group and Beckom. He said he remembers being shot, however, and talking to people he was with, but he does not remember the specifics of the incident. He told the court he was shot from behind, in the back of his upper thigh.

The man’s cross-examination testimony was continued to April 19 due to time constraints.

Defense attorney Neil Rockind, representing Beckom, questioned the witness about his role in the altercation at the bar.

The witness stated that he was not involved in the altercation because he was “minding his own business.” He said he was drunk during the incident.

“I didn’t even get a chance to touch nobody,” the witness said on the stand.

Rockind told the witness he believes that the witness lied to police at the hospital about the names of the other men involved in the altercation.

“I only know them by their nicknames,” the witness testified. “John, Bob …”

“It sounds like you’re making this up,” Rockind said.

The witness said that he told the police he saw someone fighting and saw a gun pulled out, but doesn’t remember who did what or the descriptions of the people.

“You swear on your oath that you did not do anything — advance, move forward or anything else in a threatening or aggressive way, is that right?” Rockind asked. The witness agreed.

About 30 minutes into testimony, the witness was shown a photo of the group of men involved in the altercation with Beckom. He said he couldn’t identify who was in the photo because it was blurry, but he was eventually able to identify someone he knew.

Rockind pointed out that the man the witness identified was wearing a necklace with No. 44 on it. Rockind suggested that the necklace could be gang-affiliated.

“I don’t know what his chain mean,” the witness said.

Rockind showed the court a portion of the video that he claimed shows the man wearing the 44 necklace and the witness flashing the No. 4 hand sign to each other. The witness denied that happened.

The witness denied the interaction at first, but later admitted to holding up the number. He said the No. 4 does not have any significance to him, and that he could have just been talking about numbers.

“What you’re trying to do is make it seem like I’m throwing up a gang sign. I’m not throwing up a gang sign,” the witness said.

On the stand, the witness told the court that he had been willing to lie the night of the shooting to get the police out of his face.

The second witness to testify April 19 said he was at Bar 7 the night of the shooting, but said he doesn’t remember much from the night because he was drunk.

He said he remembers running when the shots were fired, punching someone and going to the hospital. The witness testified that his right elbow was grazed with a bullet the night of the shooting.

After around an hour of testimony, Johnson decided to continue witness testimony at 10 a.m. May 12 due to time constraints.

David Rosenberg, the defense attorney for Beckum, could not be reached for comment by press time.