Michael Deshawn Altman-Tucker sits in the jury box during his preliminary exam hearing June 8 in the 39th District Court in Roseville.

Michael Deshawn Altman-Tucker sits in the jury box during his preliminary exam hearing June 8 in the 39th District Court in Roseville.

Photo by Brian Wells

Lack of autopsy report delays hearing for alleged Dooley’s shooter

Judge denies request for reduced bond

By: Brian Wells | Roseville-Eastpointe Eastsider | Published June 22, 2022


ROSEVILLE — The preliminary exam for the suspect in a fatal shooting that took place in March at Dooley’s Tavern was rescheduled June 8 due to the autopsy report not being ready yet.

At the June 8 hearing for Michael Deshawn Altman-Tucker, Macomb County Assistant Prosecutor Carmen DeFranco asked District Court Judge Russell Etheridge to postpone the preliminary exam until next month. The reason, DeFranco stated, was that the Macomb County Medical Examiner’s Office was operating behind schedule, and he hadn’t yet received the autopsy report.

“Is the autopsy report essential for the people to go forward?” Etheridge said. “It’s a probable cause hearing. I’d be reluctant to go forward without it. I mean, I get it. But I mean, if it’s just that, if the evidence is one witness (says) I saw him do this, and I saw that, how much scientific (evidence) do you need?”

While DeFranco said he didn’t disagree, he stated that the prosecution is hoping to amend Altman-Tucker’s charge from second-degree to open murder, and the autopsy report could provide more information on how to proceed.

DeFranco said the medical examiner was operating at between 16 and 18 weeks for an autopsy report. A 30-day adjournment would put the case at 17 weeks.

“My hope was another 30 days would put us at 17 weeks from the time of the death, and that should be where we need to be,” he said.

Altman-Tucker’s attorney, Jason Malkiewicz, said he had to object to the adjournment due to his client’s right to a speedy trial; however, he agreed that the report was necessary.

“I’ve never seen it this backed up either, but I don’t want to really have an exam without having that,” he said.

Etheridge granted the adjournment and set a new date and time for 9:30 a.m. July 20. But before the hearing was adjourned for the day, Malkiewicz asked the judge to reduce bond, which was set at $1 million.

“My client stands before this court with absolutely no criminal history whatsoever,” Malkiewicz argued. “He was gainfully employed at the time, he’s present here with his mother as well as his girlfriend, he’s a high school graduate, college education, valid CPL holder.”

While the allegations are serious, Malkiewicz said, Malkiewicz didn’t believe his client was a danger to society or a flight risk if he were to be released with a tether. He asked the court to reduce bond to $200,000 cash or surety.

DeFranco said he objected because, while Altman-Tucker was a valid concealed pistol license holder, he took a weapon to a place where legally it wasn’t permitted.

“We have two individuals who were shot inside of the bar, and if the defendant was fully cognizant of his responsibilities and duties as a CPL holder and was following them, he wouldn’t have had a gun in a bar to begin with,” DeFranco said.

In light of two other charges being faced by Altman-Tucker — assault with intent to murder and felony firearm — Etheridge denied the request.

“To say that this was an otherwise law-abiding individual is somewhat troublesome to the court because there were two complainants here,” Etheridge said.

Altman-Tucker, 25, was arraigned March 2 on charges of second-degree murder, assault with intent to murder and felony firearm for allegedly shooting and killing Julius Bing, a security employee at Dooley’s Tavern on Feb. 26.

Bing wasn’t the first person to have been shot and killed at the bar. In October 2019, Nolan Baca, then 21, of Clinton Township, allegedly shot a Harrison Township man, Johnny Owczarski, in the bar after an argument escalated into a physical altercation. Baca, charged with second-degree murder, assault with intent to murder and three weapons crimes, is scheduled for a bench trial at 1:30 p.m. Aug. 9 in front of Circuit Court Judge James Maceroni.

After the most recent shooting, a petition began circulating online asking the owners of Dooley’s Tavern to close the bar permanently. In a Feb. 28 press release from the Roseville Police Department, it was stated that the bar would be closing but not as a result of any action taken against it by the city or Police Department.