Erik Fry is seated at the defense table during his preliminary examination May 11 in the 37th District Court.

Erik Fry is seated at the defense table during his preliminary examination May 11 in the 37th District Court.

Photo by Brian Wells


Exam begins for murder suspect, hearing adjourned until June

By: Brian Wells | Warren Weekly | Published May 13, 2022

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WARREN — When Warren police arrived at the house on Julius Avenue where Amanda Harvey was allegedly murdered in November, they found a note.

“Once you walk in the front door, you're standing in the living room and there's a coffee table immediately in front of you and to the right,” Warren Police Evidence Technician Michael Kohlruss said. “And there's a note written with a blue Sharpie on a mail flyer on top of that table.”

Macomb County Assistant Prosecutor Vicki Policicchio asked him what the note said.

“You have to break the door. She's in there. Take me to jail,” Kohlruss said.

In the bedroom of the house, officers found Harvey, who was 33 years old, deceased. Her boyfriend, Erik Fry, 34, is accused of murdering her.

Kohlruss also said he found blood spots and soil not only on Harvey's body, but around the home and on several items in a trash container outside. In the garage, police found a brass hammer believed to be the murder weapon.

Fry was arrested outside the home on Nov. 29 and is facing a first-degree murder charge. Officers had been called to the home for a welfare check. They were sent back the next day after Fry allegedly told a 911 operator that he “killed a woman” inside the home.

When Warren Police Detective Brandon Brashaw was called to the stand, he was asked about Fry's interrogation, which had to be completed with an American Sign Language interpreter, because Fry is deaf.

After Policicchio moved to admit the video of the interrogation into evidence, Joshua Jones, Fry's attorney, objected to it, stating he questioned the qualifications of the interpreter that was called in for the interview. 

“Talking about the waiver of the rights, before it even goes to that we also have to have a qualified interpreter,” Jones said.

Jones also argued that a second interpreter should have been used to help ensure accuracy, but Brashaw said it wasn't in the department's policy. 

Brashaw said the interpreter, Christine Carter, was sent by an agency the city is contracted with. When Carter testified at the start of the hearing, she listed a number of certifications on a state and national level.

Because Jones felt Carter was unqualified, he questioned the validity of Fry's statements made during the interrogation.

Policicchio said Carter was qualified based on 2011 case law, but Jones said an increase in licensure requirements that took place around 2016 would invalidate that precedent.

District Judge Suzanne Faunce said that while multiple interpreters are required in a courtroom proceeding, case law doesn't require them in a police interview. She also said that statements taken from a deaf person by a qualified interpreter are valid.

Ultimately, Faunce overruled Jones' objection and allowed the video, but the exam was adjourned for the day before it could be shown.

When the court resumed the next morning, the exam was adjourned until 10 a.m. June 2 after it was discovered that someone watching the hearing virtually had posted screenshots of the hearing to social media. 

As a precaution, the hearing was adjourned so people could attend in person, as virtual viewing would not be available, Faunce said.

Jones and Policicchio both agreed to the adjournment.

If convicted, Fry faces mandatory life in prison.

Contact Brian Wells at (248) 291-7637 or bwells@candgnews.com.

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