Judge warns friends of stabbing suspect not to discuss case

St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published October 2, 2012

Warning the defendant’s friends to beware what they say, text or post about the case, 40th District Court Judge Joseph Oster reduced the bond of a teen accused of stabbing his friend before sending the case on to Macomb County Circuit Court.

“I was inclined to enter into an order to have no communication at all about the case, be it any of the social media … but quite frankly, if he’s willing to risk that, then good luck with your client because that will come to haunt him in Circuit Court,” Oster told the defense at the preliminary examination of 17-year-old Shane Spatafore of St. Clair Shores.

Spatafore is accused of stabbing another teen in the early morning hours of Sept. 3 at a home in the 22000 block of 13 Mile Road. His attorney, David Pietroski of Warren, said Spatafore was spending the night at the victim’s house with some other friends when the incident occurred; he alleged at the arraignment that Spatafore might have been drugged.

The victim sustained a punctured lung and possible internal bleeding from the incident, in which Spatafore allegedly grabbed a steak knife from the kitchen and chased the other boy down to the basement before allegedly stabbing him four times in the chest.

Spatafore is charged with assault with intent to commit murder, which is a life felony; two-year felonies for resisting and obstructing, and assaulting a police officer; and a charge of malicious destruction of property for breaking a patio table in the neighborhood.

Both Spatafore and the victim were students at Lake Shore High School and about a dozen of Spatafore’s friends from the school were in 40th District Court Oct. 2 for his scheduled preliminary examination.

At that time, Oster lowered Spatafore’s $200,000 bond to $75,000 or 10 percent and said that if he is released on bond, he will have to have a GPS tether put on him. If released, Spatafore is under house arrest and only able to leave his home for court or drug testing. He is not to have any guests or visitors — other than his brother — who are students at Lake Shore High School, and neither he nor his family or friends can have contact with the victim or his family.

“If anyone, any of your friends or supporters or classmates, made any statements that could be construed as leaving messages to people, vaguely or not, through social media … that could be attributed to you and you could be brought up in circuit court on a bond violation and they could also face charges,” Oster warned.

Pietroski asked Oster to waive Spatafore’s preliminary examination. He will be sent to Macomb County Circuit Court for arraignment there Oct. 22.