Alleged killer of Tyler Wingate arrested in Detroit

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published July 31, 2019




DETROIT — The suspect in the beating death of 24-year-old Berkley native Tyler Wingate in Detroit has been arrested.

Detroit police arrested Lawrence James Davis, 24, of Detroit, on Tuesday, July 30, at an apartment building in the 23500 block of West Eight Mile Road. Davis was arraigned on an open murder charge Wednesday, July 31, at the 36th District Court. He stood mute and the court entered a not guilty plea for him.

Detroit Police Chief James Craig said in a press conference, which the department put on Facebook, that the department’s special response team was able to take Davis into custody, but Craig declined to divulge the process of their investigative work that led to the arrest. Craig said the arrest happened “without incident.”

“Let’s just say there was a lot of diligence, certainly relentless follow-up to our leads and tips, and it really led to us locating the suspect,” he said.

Craig also thanked the community for continuously providing potential tips on Davis during the investigation. 

“A number of community members did reach out (and) give us information relative to this suspect, but again this suspect was taken into custody without incident,” he said.

The case took a little longer than the department would have liked, Craig said, and police believe there were people who were helping hide Davis while he was on the run. 

“He was moving around to different locations,” Craig said. “We know that through our investigative work.”

On possibly charging anyone for helping to hide Davis, Craig said that while police believe there were people hiding him, proving that is another thing, and police are not at a place right now to be able to charge people for allegedly concealing Davis.

Davis is accused of killing Wingate, of Detroit, at 1 a.m. Monday, July 22. According to a press release from Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy, Wingate and Davis were involved in a car crash on Livernois Avenue that Craig said was caused by Davis.

Meeting at a nearby gas station, Davis allegedly struck Wingate and continued to hit and kick him while he was on the ground. Davis then fled the scene on foot, according to investigators.

“The suspect was at fault, and he then attacked this victim,” Craig said. “It’s wrong, and anything like it is wrong. It’s just too much of this kind of violence in the city.”

Police arrived on the scene to find Wingate lying on the ground unresponsive. He was transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

In the days since his death, the Berkley community has been paying tribute to Wingate by tying white ribbons around the city.

Davis’ next court date will be a probable cause conference on Wednesday, Aug. 14, at the 36th District Court before Judge E. Lynise Bryant. Davis has requested a court-appointed attorney.