Jerry Motley was sentenced to life in prison Nov. 20 for first-degree murder.

Jerry Motley was sentenced to life in prison Nov. 20 for first-degree murder.

Photo by Nick Mordowanec


Man who shot Clinton Township business owner gets life in prison

By: Nick Mordowanec | Mount Clemens - Clinton - Harrison Journal | Published November 20, 2019

 Motley; his attorney, Adil Haradhvala; and Macomb County Assistant Prosecutor William Cataldo, far right, stand in front of Judge Carl Marlinga during the sentencing at Macomb County Circuit Court.

Motley; his attorney, Adil Haradhvala; and Macomb County Assistant Prosecutor William Cataldo, far right, stand in front of Judge Carl Marlinga during the sentencing at Macomb County Circuit Court.

Photo by Nick Mordowanec

 The family of victim Thomas Badke watches the proceedings.

The family of victim Thomas Badke watches the proceedings.

Photo by Nick Mordowanec

MOUNT CLEMENS/CLINTON TOWNSHIP — On Nov. 20, Jerry Motley, 27, was sentenced to life in prison for first-degree murder by Judge Carl Marlinga in Macomb County Circuit Court. He was also sentenced on charges of weapons felony firearm and carrying a weapon with unlawful intent.

In terms of the charge of assault with intent to murder, Marlinga exceeded the customary guidelines of 125 to 235 months. He said that was due to Motley deciding to “leave behind the law,” foregoing any potential “remedial lawsuit” with the victim and possibly encouraging a “healing” process between the fractured parties.

Motley’s sentencing stems from a Jan. 9, 2018, shooting at Reliable Fence, located on Groesbeck Highway between 15 Mile and 16 Mile roads. The business is now called B & B Fence.

Thomas Badke, 61, a co-owner of Reliable Fence, was fatally shot in the face by Motley. The defendant also shot another employee, Angelo Micale, twice in the back that morning following a dispute. Micale survived his injuries.

Tom Berge, also a co-owner of Reliable Fence, was close friends with Badke. Now the owner of B&B — which is named for “Badke and Berge” — he spoke at the sentencing of how his friendship and partnership with Badke began with a firm handshake and never wavered.

Motley himself, when asked by Marlinga if he had any words, only said, “I’m very sorry about my reckless behavior. My apologies go out to the family.”

Marlinga said that Motley, in his haste, “decided to get a gun and turn to violence,” and that he will proceed to live a “lonely, futile, meaningless existence.”

The judge told Motley, who stood mere feet away in chains and a blue jail outfit, that Badke was a person who befriended him, gave him a job, and even invited him to his house to eat and socialize with his family.

Marlinga mentioned a video played during the trial, in which Motley showed a lack of remorse after finding out that Micale’s gunshot wounds were not fatal.

“I can’t imagine somebody so out of control, so lacking in compassion, so vicious, so bloodthirsty,” Marlinga said.

Motley’s attorney, Adil Haradhvala, said that the defendant was “apologetic and contrite,” but that the sentencing was understood.

Following Marlinga’s sentencing, the family gathered with Macomb County Assistant Prosecutor William Cataldo outside the courtroom.

Chelsea Badke, the victim’s daughter-in-law, said Marlinga “hit the nail on the head” in terms of the words he used to describe Motley’s crime. She knew Thomas Badke for about five years, calling him “a very good, honest, hard-working” man who was “the soul of our family.”

“More than a life sentence is phenomenal,” she said. “(Motley) has no chance of ever getting out, and our family can finally rest well. Things are over.”

Badke’s sister, Dolores Badke Kaiser, said the family will stay tight and get through the pain together.

“Thanksgiving was always his holiday,” Kaiser said. “My brother always did the turkey. We’ll be together and thank God for the time we had with him, and be thankful Jerry Motley will never do this to another family, ever.”