Cousin of missing Eastpointe teen charged with lying to police

By: Brian Louwers | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published January 24, 2022

 Jaylin Brazier was arraigned Jan. 24 in the 38th District Court for allegedly lying to Eastpointe police investigating the disappearance of 17-year-old Zion Foster.

Jaylin Brazier was arraigned Jan. 24 in the 38th District Court for allegedly lying to Eastpointe police investigating the disappearance of 17-year-old Zion Foster.

Photos by Patricia O’Blenes

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EASTPOINTE — The man who police said is a cousin through marriage of 17-year-old Zion Foster, of Eastpointe, has been charged with lying to police investigating her disappearance.

Jaylin Brazier, 23, of Detroit, was arraigned in the 38th District Court Jan. 24 on one count of lying to a peace officer during the course of a violent crime investigation, a four-year felony, and lying to a peace officer investigating a crime punishable by four years or more in prison, which is a two-year high court misdemeanor. Judge Kathleen Galen set bail for Brazier at $250,000 cash or surety only.

Brazier had been named as a person of interest in Foster’s disappearance.

On Jan. 18, Detroit police held a press conference where they announced that they were taking the lead role in the investigation based on Foster’s last known whereabouts. She was last seen Jan. 4 and last heard from Jan. 5. At that time, police believe she was with Brazier at his home in Detroit, in the area of Greenfield Road and the James Couzens Freeway, near Vassar Avenue.

Brazier reportedly turned himself in at a Detroit Police Department precinct Jan. 19. On Jan. 22, Eastpointe police said Brazier would be charged with lying to investigators.

During the arraignment hearing, Galen asked attorneys about a 2022 homicide warrant, apparently now being sought in Brazier’s name in Wayne County. Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Maria Miller, of Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy’s office, later confirmed that a homicide warrant was sought by police in the Foster case but that it was returned to detectives for further investigation and not authorized as of Jan. 24. Miller would not confirm who was named in the warrant request.

Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Steven Fox, of Macomb County Prosecutor Pete Lucido’s office, said the investigation remained active, and he deferred any comment about the current status of the Foster missing person case to Wayne County. He declined to discuss what Brazier allegedly told police in Detroit or Eastpointe and what specifically resulted in the charges in Macomb County.

“He has spoken to police on more than one occasion, so the result of that discussion with police brought these charges,” Fox said.

Attorney Matthew Licata represented Brazier for purposes of the arraignment. During the hearing, Brazier requested court-appointed legal counsel.

“At this point, he says he vehemently denies the charges and looks forward to the court process playing out,” Licata said.

During a probable cause conference in the 38th District Court Feb. 2, Brazier waived his right to a preliminary examination in the case. His court-appointed attorney, Timothy Doty, said his client was scheduled to be arraigned before Macomb County Circuit Court Judge Edward Servitto Feb. 16.

“We had a PCC yesterday, and a decision was made to waive over to circuit court without holding an exam because an exam would have been futile and a waste of time,” Doty said.

“We had the matter (bound over) to circuit court to work with the prosecutors at that level to determine a possible outcome, if it goes to trial, or any prior outcome for Mr. Brazier.”

Doty said he was aware of the investigation in Detroit but that he knew of no other charges pending at press time Feb. 3.

Detroit Police Department Second Deputy Chief Rudy Harper confirmed a warrant request was resubmitted to Wayne County prosecutors Feb. 2.   

Brazier remained held in the Macomb County Jail at press time.

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