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After third adjournment, carjacking case to proceed for certain March 1

By: Sarah Wojcik | Shelby - Utica News | Published February 9, 2016

 From left, defendant Michael Garrett, defense attorney R. Timothy Kohler and prosecutor Paul Bukowski stand before Judge Denis LeDuc at the 42-1 District Court in Romeo Feb. 9.

From left, defendant Michael Garrett, defense attorney R. Timothy Kohler and prosecutor Paul Bukowski stand before Judge Denis LeDuc at the 42-1 District Court in Romeo Feb. 9.

Photo by Deb Jacques

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On Feb. 9, 42-1 District Court Judge Denis LeDuc mandated that the preliminary examination for a man accused of a carjacking near the Macomb Orchard Trail would take place March 1, no matter what, after LeDuc agreed to adjourn the case for a third time.

Defense attorney R. Timothy Kohler said defendant Michael Garrett, 30, of Pontiac, wished to hold the preliminary examination at the 42-1 District Court in Romeo, despite a perceived understanding that the case would be bound over to the Macomb County Circuit Court.

“I have no waiver (to bind over the case to circuit court) here. I have nothing here,” LeDuc told the defense and prosecuting attorneys.

LeDuc adjourned the case because Paul Bukowski, an assistant prosecutor with the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office, said he believed the case would be bound over to circuit court and excused the witnesses.

“I (excused the witnesses) based on information I received that there was going to be a waiver. That’s what I went on,” Bukowski told LeDuc. “I do apologize for that. I understand (the witnesses are) willing to go (before the court). We will be ready to go, no questions asked, on (March 1).”

LeDuc agreed to adjourn the case on two prior occassions due to the key witness being out of state.

Garrett is charged with carjacking — a felony with a maximum sentence of life in prison — and assaulting and/or obstructing a police officer, and is a parole absconder from the Oakland-Pontiac Parole Office, according to police.

At approximately 11 a.m. Jan. 2, Garrett allegedly demanded money from a 78-year-old Washington Township man at knifepoint on the Macomb Orchard Trail, near West Road and Van Dyke Avenue. The Washington Township man reportedly told police that, because he did not have any money, he handed over his cellphone and the keys to his 2014 Ford F-150 pickup truck.

Police said Garrett loaded a bicycle into the rear of the truck and drove away, dropping the knife as he left. Police said the Washington Township man flagged down a 46-year-old Washington Township woman, who pursued Garrett with the Washington Township man in her vehicle.

They reportedly found Garrett standing outside the truck on a side street, and police said the woman confronted Garrett, who then handed back the keys and phone. Police said he grabbed the bicycle out of the truck and headed for the trail.

After a search that included K-9 and aviation units, police said they spotted Garrett running from the rear of a home. There was a foot chase and a Shelby Township police officer took Garrett into custody, police said.

Garrett remained lodged in the Macomb County Jail.

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