Dennis Carlton Evans enters the 38th District Court in Eastpointe before his preliminary exam Aug. 4.

Dennis Carlton Evans enters the 38th District Court in Eastpointe before his preliminary exam Aug. 4.

Photo by Brian Wells

Judge clears courtroom as emotions run high during Eastpointe murder suspect’s hearing

By: Brian Wells | Roseville-Eastpointe Eastsider | Published August 4, 2022


EASTPOINTE — Friends and family members of two people who were fatally wounded, allegedly by a neighbor, at an apartment complex on 10 Mile Road in January reached an emotional breaking point in 38th District Court Aug. 4 when a police detective testified that the defendant had later told the detective that the two victims didn’t deserve to die.

During the preliminary exam, while asking Eastpointe Police Detective Brian Showers about an interview that Showers had conducted with the suspect, Dennis Carlton Evans, Macomb County Assistant Prosecutor Evan Dashe asked Showers how Evans felt about allegedly killing Christie Davis and Dorian Mitchell.

“He stated that he didn’t believe that either one of them deserved to die,” Showers said.

Family members of Davis and Mitchell began crying out, shouting that Evans deserved to die, before Judge Kathleen Galen cleared the courtroom.

After a brief recess, only 10 of the many people who had filled the courtroom previously were allowed to return.

“I understand that emotions run very high in these kinds of cases. … I’m going to ask for everybody’s cooperation to have these orderly proceedings in the courtroom,” Galen said.

Eastpointe police officer Gary McLaughlin told the court that when he arrived at 16481 10 Mile Road in Eastpointe at approximately 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 27, a woman waved him into the parking lot. He testified that he found Davis in the back of a GMC vehicle, suffering from several gunshot wounds.

“She thought she was dying. She said, ‘You’ve got to help me, get an ambulance here.’ With the amount of blood, I thought she was dying too,” McLaughlin said.

When he asked her who had shot her, she said it was her neighbor, Evans, McLaughlin testified. McLaughlin found Mitchell dead nearby.

“I’m looking for signs of life; I looked at him and I went and checked for a pulse, and he didn’t have any, so I alerted dispatch to his status, that he was deceased,” he said.

Davis was taken to a hospital in critical condition and underwent surgery. However, after being in a coma, she was eventually transferred to hospice care, where she died, Showers said.

While testifying, Showers was able to recall what Davis had told him happened that day when he was able to interview her in the hospital several days later. It normally would not have been permitted due to it being hearsay, but because Galen ruled that it was a dying declaration, Showers was allowed to recount what he said Davis had told him.

The morning of the incident, Davis and Mitchell found Evans in the hallway of the apartment building, Showers said, upset because somebody had broken into his apartment and stolen drugs. Evans believed that Mitchell and Davis were responsible for it, Showers said.

Mitchell and Davis left to run errands and get lunch, while Evans waited for them in the stairwell with a pistol, Showers said. When they returned home, Evans approached Mitchell outside the apartment complex, according to the testimony.

“She said, prior to shooting Mitchell, she was saying, ‘No, Dennis, no,’ and that’s after, subsequently, he shot Mitchell,” Showers said. “And then after that, she retreated to the rear of the vehicle. He went around to that side of the vehicle. She stated to him, ‘You don’t have to do this,’ and he said, ‘Yes I do,’ and shot her.”

During a later interview, Evans allegedly told Showers that he had come to the conclusion that he had made a mistake and that Davis and Mitchell hadn’t broken into his apartment.

“So he believes he had made a mistake?” Dashe asked.

“That is correct,” Showers said.

Joshua Jones, Evans’ attorney, asked Showers whether or not Evans had been read his Miranda rights during this interview with police that Evans had requested.

Showers said he didn’t believe Evans had been advised of his rights, and he didn’t provide him with a form that Evans had signed during a previous interview that advised Evans of his rights.

When asked if anything about Evans’ Miranda rights had been mentioned during the second interview, Showers said he couldn’t recall.

“The mere fact that he simply had requested to sit down I don’t believe is enough to go over the fact that they still have to go through Miranda on the site to re-identify and allow for him to assert those rights,” Jones said.

At the conclusion of the hearing, Dashe asked Galen to amend Evans’ charge of assault with intent to murder to first-degree premeditated murder because Davis was still alive when the charges were filed initially.

Jones objected to having the case bound over to Macomb County Circuit Court, stating that the prosecution hadn’t satisfied the requirement of showing probable cause, and due to the possibility of Evans’ Miranda rights being violated.

In the end, Galen bound over the case to circuit court. She also upgraded Evans’ charge of assault with intent to murder to first-degree murder.

Evans now is facing two charges of first-degree murder, three counts of felony firearm, one count of a weapon being possessed by a felon, and one count of delivering or manufacturing a controlled substance. He is scheduled to be arraigned at 1:30 p.m. Aug. 22 in front of circuit court Judge Edward Servitto.