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 Robert Leo Marzejka was sentenced Jan. 14 to life in prison without parole for the first-degree murders of his sister, Danielle Marzejka, 18, and her boyfriend, Seren Bryan, 19.

Robert Leo Marzejka was sentenced Jan. 14 to life in prison without parole for the first-degree murders of his sister, Danielle Marzejka, 18, and her boyfriend, Seren Bryan, 19.

Photo by Deb Jacques


Clinton Township man sentenced to life without parole for murdering sister, her boyfriend

By: Nick Mordowanec | C&G Newspapers | Published January 14, 2020

 Diane Bryan talks about the goodness of her son, Seren Bryan, a murder victim of Robert Leo Marzejka, who was sentenced Jan. 14 to life in prison without parole.

Diane Bryan talks about the goodness of her son, Seren Bryan, a murder victim of Robert Leo Marzejka, who was sentenced Jan. 14 to life in prison without parole.

Photo by Deb Jacques

“You’re an evil man and you’re going where you belong."

James Biernat, Macomb County Circuit Court Judge

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Robert Leo Marzejka will spend the rest of his life in prison.

On Jan. 14, Macomb County Circuit Court Judge James Biernat sentenced Marzejka, 26, to life in prison without parole for murdering his sister, Danielle Marzejka, 18, and her boyfriend, Seren Bryan, 19.

On Nov. 22, 2019, following a trial that lasted about a week, a jury found the defendant guilty of first-degree murder.

The case stems back to August 2018, when the victims’ bodies were discovered in trash bags in a shed outside the Marzejka family home in Clinton Township. The suspect left town following the murders and was eventually caught in Ohio with the help of the Toledo Police Department and U.S. Marshals.


‘An evil man’
Diane Bryan stood at a podium at the sentencing, holding back tears as she talked about the goodness of her son. She said that from the day he was born in 1998, he had been in her heart and thoughts every day.

Her first-born child was 19 years old and “at the frontier of adulthood,” she said with strong conviction, her confidence never wavering in her son.

He possessed a quick, sarcastic wit. Journal sketching was an outlet for his creativity until the day he died. He had a desire to imitate his mother’s home-cooked meals. And he “was a sensitive kind-hearted person” who would do anything for anyone.

That was until he was knocked unconscious, suffocated, bound and left in a shed.

“I say to myself … you can’t keep Seren in that day,” Bryan said. “You can’t keep him in pain.”

Bryan spoke of how her daughter’s worldview changed, how her grades at school suffered in the aftermath. While Bryan acknowledged that she have perhaps 30 more years on Earth to deal with her grief, her daughter still has a lifetime.

She asked Biernat to delay Marzejka’s access to special privileges behind bars as part of his sentence.

“I still believe the world to be a beautiful place,” she said before she walked away from the podium.

Marzejka’s brother, Kevin, declined to speak. He had testified as a witness during the trial.

The suspect, standing handcuffed in blue prison wear with a beard now covering his face, was asked by Biernat if he had anything to say. Marzejka said, “No.”

Biernat responded, saying to Marzejka that he had murdered his sister and her boyfriend and had nothing to say. Marzejka again said, “No.”

“You’re an evil man and you’re going where you belong,” Biernat said to him, prior to sentencing him to life without parole.

Outside the courtroom, Marzejka’s defense counsel, Azhar Sheikh, gave his final thoughts on the case, verdict and sentencing. He originally vouched for a second-degree murder charge when the trial first began, citing Marzejka’s alleged mental health issues.

“I think the jury has a right to do what they want, but it’s very hard for them to overcome what happened to the victims and the pictures that they saw,” Sheikh said. “Like Ms. Bryan said, the fact that they were in the shed for a while … all of that stuff just adds to the gruesomeness. In many of these cases, you always have jurors that are always concerned that if this person is back in society, what if this happens again?”

In his last meeting with Marzejka, Sheikh said Marzejka was “up and down” and on multiple types of medication. He is also on suicide watch, which the attorney noted is “normal procedure” for an individual found guilty.

A motive for the murders was never disclosed, he added. Sheikh said he asked his client “a million times” but never got an answer, and doesn’t know if one even exists.

He said “voices were still being transmitted” in Marzejka’s head the night of the murders, citing how even after the victims were killed, they were further abused and bound by duct tape and so forth.

Marzejka was not placed in a mental ward of the Macomb County Jail.

Sheikh said, “I still do not know, and I’ll probably go to my grave not knowing,” what caused Marzejka to actually commit the murders and leave town as if nothing ever happened.

“That’s something that’s been playing in my mind over and over,” he said.