Man who stabbed grandfather to death found guilty, but mentally ill

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published January 27, 2020

 Miguel Mansour is brought into Macomb County Circuit Court in handcuffs Jan. 7 to begin his trial. The jury gave its verdict of guilty, but mentally ill, Jan. 17.

Miguel Mansour is brought into Macomb County Circuit Court in handcuffs Jan. 7 to begin his trial. The jury gave its verdict of guilty, but mentally ill, Jan. 17.

Photo by Deb Jacques

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UTICA — The trial for a man who was found stabbing another man to death in a Utica park came to an end in Macomb County Circuit Court Jan. 17 with a jury verdict.

After more than a year since the vicious attack on Sept. 1, 2018, the man who killed a grandfather in Grant Park was found guilty of first-degree murder, but mentally ill, and will face a life sentence.

The Utica Police Department received multiple calls at 12:48 p.m. Sept. 1, 2018, regarding a stabbing taking place in the park at 8243 Hahn St. in Utica. Utica police said that they arrived at the scene to find the killing in progress.

Miguel Mansour, who was 22 at the time, was found stabbing Mike Shereda in the park during a first-birthday party being held at the park for one of Shereda’s grandchildren. Shereda reportedly had asked Mansour to stop doing drugs in the park, and Mansour stabbed Shereda 67 times during the following three minutes, according to Macomb County Assistant Prosecutor William Cataldo.

At the commencement of the attack, Cataldo said. Shereda was no closer than 15 feet from Mansour.

“Two witnesses saw Mr. Shereda approach the park bench no closer than 15 feet, and then they saw the defendant stand up and rush him (Shereda) and use fists first, and at some point in time then pull a knife and then begin to stab,” said Cataldo.

At the time of the attack, according to Cataldo, Shereda was heard saying, “Help, help me, don’t do this, stop, please stop.”

“The homicide lasted approximately three minutes. Police showed up within one minute. During the attack, Shereda was still alive, was defending himself and was still attempting to ask for mercy. He was clearly alive during all of the attack,” Cataldo told the court.

Mansour had a 0.08% blood alcohol content at the time and had also used more than 100 nitrous oxide canisters as a recreational drug at the time of the attack, according to Cataldo.

According to an argument Cataldo made during the trial, Mansour had bought a knife at a gas station just before the murder, when he bought the nitrous oxide containers, commonly called “whippets.”

Cataldo said that in Mansour’s own statements to doctors, he said that he bought the knife that day with the intent to kill someone.

According to Mansour’s attorney, Donald Teichman, Mansour was trying to kill “aliens” and he was on a mission to kill the aliens when he killed Shereda that day. Teichman claimed that Mansour was insane and the killing was not intentional — that Shereda was “a total stranger” and that the killing was “a random act” without premeditation.

“The law does allow an excuse, and the reason why the law allows an excuse is because we judge the guilty mind. We judge the guilty mind as importantly as the guilty act. We excuse the act because of the immaturity involved,” he said.

Teichman also said that Mansour thought aliens communicated with him through his television and telepathically.

He claimed that Mansour had killed Shereda because Mansour thought Shereda telepathically told him that he wanted to die, and Mansour thought he was going to be “rewarded” for what he did.

He said Mansour had been trying to trying to lick the blood off his pant leg in the police vehicle afterward and thought he would be “awakened” after tasting the blood.

Teichman said that when he asked Mansour about the incident, Mansour said, “No I’m a pretty laid-back guy. This was all about aliens, androids and people.”

Mansour’s motive was “a delusion of aliens, androids and people,” according to Teichman.

Teichman also said during the trial that Shereda had been wearing sunglasses, which provoked Mansour to attack. Cataldo argued this was not true.

Teichman argued that the attack was a sudden impulse and did not include enough time to stop and think twice. Cataldo argued that Mansour had a whole three minutes to decide to stop.

“He had the time to stop. He had the opportunity to stop. He could make a choice to make it stop. He chose to keep going,” Cataldo said.

“He knew what he was doing, and when officers demanded he stop, he did and said ‘sorry,’” Cataldo said.

He pointed out that Mansour had attempted suicide multiple times, but didn’t go through with it when he saw family members crying and realized what would happen — death.

Cataldo said Mansour was guilty of first-degree murder, but mentally ill — not as a result of insanity.

Defendants found guilty but mentally ill are treated in a mental health facility until their mental health is restored; they then serve the remainder of their sentence in the appropriate correctional facility.

Cataldo said that one cannot tell Mansour what to do without becoming an “alien.”    

“Don’t tell him what to do, tell him ‘no,’ tell on him, or ask him not to do something. If you are a stranger and tell him what to do, you are then an ‘alien,’ which then results in physical violence,” Cataldo said.

He said that the case was about Mansour’s uncontrolled anger, and what Mansour has said about the incident was what he wanted the public to perceive.

“Everything that you’re about to hear about the mental illness of Mr. Mansour was provided by Mr. Mansour. … It’s all based on him and what he says and chooses to tell you and not to tell you. He manipulated what he wanted to say so that he could get what he wanted and be released,” Cataldo said.

According to Cataldo, Mansour had been physically abusive to his family and was in a fight with them the day before the incident. Cataldo said that Mansour lied about having been in fights in school and could not keep a job.

“He understands rules and chooses to break them,” Cataldo said.

Utica Police Detective Greg Morabito said that he thought the prosecuting attorney did a great job with the case.

“The Utica Police Department has a very good working relationship with the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office. All the prosecutors do an outstanding job; in this case, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Will Cataldo did a great job in presenting this case, which led to the conviction of Miguel Mansour,” Morabito said.

Mansour’s sentencing date has been set for 8:30 a.m. Feb. 26. His bond was canceled and he will remain at the state’s Center for Forensic Psychiatry.

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