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September 25, 2012

Judge weighs evidence for man charged in beating death of father

By Terry Oparka
C & G Staff Writer

A judge will decide if a 21-year-old man will stand trial for the murder of his father based on testimony of his younger brother, the medical examiner, a Montrose Township resident and a police officer, plus cellphone records and evidence found in the home. 

 

Patrick Mikes Jr., 21, wearing orange prison garb and belly chains, smiled and nodded to a half-dozen supporters at his preliminary exam in 52/4 District Court Sept. 24 in front of Judge William Bolle. His attorneys, Christopher Andreoff and Robert Harrison, presented one witness, Troy police officer Josh Jones, the supervising officer at the Mikes’ home after Mikes Jr. and his brother Andrew, 16, called police July 29 to report their father, Patrick Mikes Sr., missing.

 

The body of Mikes Sr. was identified by the Oakland County Medical Examiner’s Office Aug. 13 through dental records after an exhaustive search of a 25-square-mile area in Montrose Township.

 

Oakland County Assistant Prosecutor Ken Frazee called to the witness stand Oakland County Medical Examiner L.J. Dragovic, Mikes’ brother Andrew, and a man who lives near the cornfield where Mikes’ body was found.

 

Jones testified that when he arrived at the Mikes home July 29 after they reported their father missing that both appeared devoid of emotion.

 

“Neither of them displayed any emotion. They were very matter of fact about the situation,” Jones said. He noted that Andrew had a difficult time holding eye contact, and Mikes Jr. appeared nervous and fidgety, repeatedly picking up a glass of juice and setting it down without taking a drink. The police also noticed an odor in the home.

 

Jones said police obtained verbal consent to search the Mikes home and discovered three garbage bags behind the furnace in the basement that contained blood-soaked clothing and rags. 

 

Jones said police cut open one of the garbage bags and discovered the bloody items.

 

“There was a fair amount of blood still wet in the … bag,” Jones said. He added that neither of the sons appeared high or intoxicated during the search.

 

Andrew said this brother told him they had to wait 24 hours before they reported their father missing.  He said Mikes Jr. told him he would take the Infinity July 28 to look for their father. Andrew said his brother was gone for several hours and didn’t return home until about 2:30 p.m. that day. Andrew said he called local hospitals while his brother was gone.

 

Bruce Bunn of Montrose Township said he saw an Infinity on the road he lives on around midday July 28. He did not recognize the vehicle, noting that his is not a busy road.

 

Arguments ensued over spending money

 

Andrew testified that his brother and father often argued verbally about money. He said he and his brother were required to work to supply their own spending money for entertainment and food outside of the home. He said their father supplied them with an American Express credit card that was to be used only for gasoline purchases. Andrew said his brother had asked to borrow his credit card to travel up north the week before Mikes Sr. went missing. He said Mikes Sr. cancelled the card when he discovered more than $100 in charges for food and movies.

 

Mikes Sr., whose wife is deceased, was a contract employee at TRW, and his last day of work was scheduled to be July 31. Andreoff asked Andrew if he knew his grandparents had regularly sent “substantial” funds to the Mikes for expenses. Andrew said he had no knowledge of that.

 

Andrew described the relationship between his brother and father as “a little tense at times and not loving.” He said his brother said he’d argued with their father the morning of July 27 about the credit card. Andrew said the last time he saw his father was July 26. Andreoff asked Andrew if he’d noticed bruising or cuts on his brother’s forearm July 29, and Andrew said he had not.

 

Andreoff said Mikes Jr. had been looking for a summer job in the medical field because the former University of Notre Dame student hoped to apply to medical school.

 

Dragovic said the multiple blows to the head that caused Mikes Sr.’s death were inflicted with an oblong object, such as a pipe or a baseball bat. Dragovic said it was clear from evidence found in the basement that a violent death took place. Police found a baseball bat pushed into the cushions of a couch in the Mikes’ basement. Andrew played baseball for his high school team, and said he stored his bats in the garage, his upstairs bedroom or the trunk of the Infinity that he and his brother drove during the summer. He said he had not recently been down in his basement and that he never brought his bats down there.

 

Police have said that Andrew is not a suspect.

 

Dragovic said Mikes Sr. received a minimum of four blows to the head. He said Mikes Sr.’s body had extensive decomposition consistent with being in the outside elements, including heavy rains, for about two weeks. Police recovered the body Aug. 10.

 

Bolle said he would need time to review all of the evidence and would hear closing arguments in the case Oct. 1.

 

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Terry Oparka at toparka@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1054.