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Farms interior designer dies from stabbing

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published May 3, 2016

 Daniel Clancy

Daniel Clancy

GROSSE POINTE FARMS — A stabbing that left a Grosse Pointe Farms man clinging to life in March has now turned into a murder case.

Acclaimed interior designer Daniel Clancy, 69, allegedly was stabbed in the neck by David Scott Corzilius, 49, of Warren — a handyman who did odd jobs for him — during an attack at Clancy’s home the afternoon of March 6. Clancy, who was discovered bleeding on the sidewalk by a neighbor, had been hospitalized since that brutal attack, but on April 27, the Farms Public Safety Department issued a Nixle update to announce that, according to Clancy’s family, he had “passed away (today) as a result of injuries sustained in the attack.” 

Police said they had “no further information at this time.”

At press time, a funeral mass for Clancy was slated to take place at 1 p.m. May 5 at Ss. Peter and Paul Jesuit Church, 438 St. Antoine St. in downtown Detroit. In an obituary for Clancy, his family asked that in lieu of flowers, people would make a donation to the charity of their choice in Clancy’s name.

On April 29, the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office announced that charges against Corzilius had been amended from assault with intent to murder, to felony murder.

He had been arraigned on March 11 in Farms Municipal Court for assault with intent to murder, armed robbery, first-degree home invasion, felonious assault with a dangerous weapon, unlawful imprisonment and larceny in a building. 

The court ordered a psychological evaluation to determine if Corzilius was competent to stand trial. The results of that evaluation, as well as a preliminary examination, have been slated to take place at 8 a.m. June 8 in Farms Municipal Court. According to a statement emailed from a spokesperson for the Prosecutor’s Office, if Corzilius “is found to be competent to stand trial,” he will be arraigned on felony murder during the June 8 hearing.

Corzilius told investigators he went to Clancy’s home March 6 to settle an alleged dispute with the designer. The handyman claimed that when he had shoveled snow at Clancy’s home the day before, Clancy had touched his backside while giving Corzilius a hug, angering the handyman. 

During a confrontation March 6 with Clancy, Corzilius is said to have fought physically with Clancy and attempted to restrain him with duct tape. Corzilius allegedly stabbed Clancy after allegedly stealing valuables from Clancy’s home. 

Corzilius is said to suffer from bipolar disorder and didn’t have access to his medication at the time of the stabbing, said his attorney, Tim Doty. Corzilius also has a lengthy criminal history and is said to have struggled for years with addiction; police found Corzilius in the hospital March 8, where he reportedly was being treated for a heroin overdose. 

He was most recently discharged from prison last October and has been incarcerated multiple times over the last 20 years for offenses including larceny and possession of a controlled substance, according to the Michigan Department of Corrections. Police say he’s now facing habitual offender fourth-offense charges in addition to the other charges in connection with the March 6 stabbing.

Clancy’s many friends and relatives continue to mourn the loss of the designer, who is being remembered for his warmth and intelligence as well as his artistic eye. He had appeared on HGTV and was an award-winning interior designer of national fame whose work had been featured in publications including House Beautiful, W Magazine and Palm Beach Magazine. 

He was one of the designers for Franklin-based Perlmutter-Freiwald Inc. and was in demand across the country; he had worked in Aspen, New York, Los Angeles and elsewhere. He was predeceased in January 2015 by his partner in business and in life for 35 years, Jack Perlmutter. Clancy was predeceased as well by his brothers, Terrance Clancy and Phil Clancy, and his father, Felix Clancy.