Suspect agrees to plea in ‘hate crime’ case

By: Brian Louwers | Warren Weekly | Published July 26, 2021

 Michael Frederick Jr.

Michael Frederick Jr.

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WARREN — A Warren man jailed last fall after a series of alleged hate crimes perpetrated against a Black family has pleaded no contest to a list of charges including ethnic intimidation, malicious destruction of property and related weapons offenses.

The charges against Michael Frederick Jr., 25, stem from a series of three incidents over a four-night span in September 2020.

The plea agreement was entered into the record before Judge Diane Druzinski in Macomb County Circuit Court on July 6. Frederick faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison for shooting at the family’s home. According to the agreement relayed in court records, he would be sentenced to the bottom third of the sentencing guidelines prepared by the court’s probation officers ahead of a scheduled sentencing on Aug. 16.

Frederick is accused of shooting at vehicles parked at the home of Eddie and Candace Hall in a neighborhood near 11 Mile and Hoover roads on Sept. 7. The family is Black and had a “Black Lives Matter” sign in their front window. Two days later, Frederick allegedly threw a brick through their window, slashed tires and left graffiti, including a swastika and the words “Black Lives Matter” and “Not Welcome” on their vehicles. Police alleged he returned on Sept. 10 and fired a shot through the window of the home with a 9 mm handgun.

Warren Police Commissioner Bill Dwyer said the alleged actions had “all the elements of a hate crime.” He later said Frederick confessed to the crimes at the Hall residence, and to damage at another home in the neighborhood where political signs were displayed.  

Frederick also faced a felony MDOP charge related to the other incident. The property owner in that case was reportedly white.

Reached for comment on his client’s plea agreement on July 19, defense attorney Paul Stockyj declined to say anything ahead of the sentencing.

When he was arraigned by Judge Michael Chupa last fall, Frederick stated that he was “extremely regretful” about what he did, that he “acted way out of character” and that “this wasn’t about the color of anyone’s skin.” He has been jailed since his arraignment with bail set at $200,000.

Under Michigan law, shooting in or at a building is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Ethnic intimidation is a two-year felony with a fine of up to $5,000.  

Frederick’s father, Michael John Frederick Sr., 53, of Warren, was charged as an alleged accessory after the fact and tampering with evidence, both felonies, and lying to a peace officer, a misdemeanor.

Warren police said he threw the gun his son used at the Hall family home into the Clinton River near North River Road and the Interstate 94 overpass. Macomb County Sheriff’s Office divers, working with Warren detectives, reportedly located part of a disassembled weapon in the river in October.

Attorney Jeffrey Cojocar, representing Michael John Frederick Sr., confirmed that his client had entered into a plea agreement that would result in the dismissal of felony charges “as long as the restitution is paid in full.”

“We were able to work out a deviation plea to a misdemeanor as long as he takes care of the restitution,” Cojocar said. “It really benefits everybody. He avoided the risk of a trial. Restitution is going to be paid. The victims are going to be made whole and the felonies are going to be dismissed.”

The case against Michael John Frederic Sr., who was free on bail, was also scheduled for sentencing on Aug. 16, according to court records.

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