Preliminary exam for alleged kidnapper adjourned

By: Sarah Wojcik | Shelby - Utica News | Published August 20, 2013

While Jameskutty Varghese’s preliminary exam for an abduction charge was set for Aug. 19, he appeared at the 41-A District Court in Shelby Township with his lawyer and interpreter to ask for an adjournment, per his lawyer’s request, “to make additional discovery in this case.”

Judge Matthew Rumora allowed for the case to be heard in three weeks after Varghese agreed to waive his right to have the exam within 14 days.

Varghese, 46, was charged Aug. 5 for attempting to hold a person in voluntary servitude, a felony punishable by up to five years in prison. He allegedly grabbed a 1-year-old from his mother, Britteny Wroble, 24, of Shelby Township, in front of her Fox Lane apartment complex, located at Hall and Mound Roads, at around 5 p.m. Aug. 3.

Wroble said she pursued Varghese and grappled with him for her son, managing to wrangle him back despite Varghese’s attempts to shake her off, before running to a neighbor’s house and calling the police.

A native of India, Varghese does not speak English; hence the presence of the interpreter for the Indian language Malayalam. Police have not made any headway as to his reason for reportedly grabbing Wroble’s son, Xach, and running off with him.

Shelby Township Police Chief Roland Woelkers said there is a language barrier and possibly some mental health issues that the Police Department is not aware of. He said because of the language barrier, both parties likely are misinterpreting things.

While Wroble, her husband, Robert, and their young son were at the 41-A District Court earlier in the day, they left after being informed that the exam would be adjourned.

Two hours later, a Macomb County Sheriff’s Office deputy brought out Varghese to be examined.

“The complaining victim was present here today and the people would have been able to proceed at today’s date,” said Anthony Sorrentino, the Macomb County assistant prosecutor. “We have no objection to the adjournment.”

Varghese will return to the Macomb County Jail until he is due back in court in three weeks and his bond will remain at $500,000.