St. Clair Shores
Dismemberment case: Prosecutor alleges body decapitated, likely burned
Posted February 24, 2014
Reiterating that the case is a “homicide investigation,” a Macomb County prosecuting attorney brought to light gruesome allegations against a St. Clair Shores woman accused of mutilating her son’s body, according to a transcript of an emergency bond hearing.
Macomb County Assistant Prosecutor William Cataldo, in asking for the bond amount to be raised in the case of Donna Kay Scrivo, 60, who is charged with one count of disinterment and mutilation of a dead body and removing a dead body without medical examiner permission, told the court that, “This is a homicide investigation.”
Scrivo is accused of cutting up and placing parts of the body of her 32-year-old son, Ramsay, in garbage bags, then dumping them along the side of the road in the area of China and St. Clair townships in St. Clair County.
Despite the fact that an autopsy has not been completed by Macomb County Medical Examiner Dr. Daniel Spitz because he is still waiting for toxicology results, Cataldo told Judge Mark Fratarcangeli of the 40th District Court, “There were ligature marks on the neck, blunt force trauma to the head and shoulders of the victim,” according to the transcript.
“There is blood in her SUV; that SUV was immediately given away after the dumping to Mother Waddles …. There’s blood all over the condo that she moved into.”
He goes on to testify that the body was decapitated and likely placed in a bathtub and set on fire after being mutilated.
Cataldo said they are “trying to move as quickly as we can” to be able to charge Scrivo with murder.
The transcript shows that Cataldo also told the court that, despite Scrivo’s describing herself as indigent when she asked for a court-appointed attorney on the day of her arraignment, she has a home worth $150,000 on Rosedale, monthly retirement income, a vehicle worth $20,000 and $125,000 in life insurance money she received after the death of her husband. Cataldo said that Scrivo pulled $8,000 out of the bank just before she was arrested, as well.
“My husband died and I did get those policies,” Scrivo testified. “And, um, I was a little off, I do have probably about $900 to $1,000 in a checking account and I have about $1,000 in a safety deposit box and I have a 2012 Ford Escape.”
Mark Haddad, Scrivo’s attorney, pointed out that she has been in St. Clair Shores since 1980 and so has significant ties to the area, despite having out-of-state relatives. And the home, he said, is not a liquid asset since it burned in 2013. Scrivo had been staying with Ramsay Scrivo in his condominium at the time of his death.
“With this new information, I’m a little concerned that she does have the wherewithal to relocate and abscond if she does, in fact, post (bond),” Fratarcangeli said.
Scrivo told the court that she was unemployed because she had been taking care of her son, “because he wouldn’t take his medicines … but he wasn’t getting better. And if you don’t make him take em, he didn’t take em.”
It was as a result of the testimony that Fratarcangeli raised Scrivo’s bond to $250,000 Feb, 4 and ordered her referred to the Center for Forensic Psychiatry for evaluations on competency and criminal responsibility. All court proceedings have been suspended pending the outcome of those evaluations.
About the author
Staff Writer Kristyne E. Demske covers St. Clair Shores and the Lake Shore, Lakeview and South Lake public schools for the Sentinel. Kristyne has worked for C & G Newspapers since 2004 and attended Michigan State University and Chippewa Valley High School.
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