Sentencing delayed for murder trial in Macomb Township

By: Alex Szwarc | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published July 15, 2019

 Jamel Bentley’s July 10 sentencing was adjourned to Oct. 31. He was released from jail in April and is expected to testify at Nicholas Riddle’s trial in October.

Jamel Bentley’s July 10 sentencing was adjourned to Oct. 31. He was released from jail in April and is expected to testify at Nicholas Riddle’s trial in October.

File photo by Deb Jacques

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MACOMB TOWNSHIP — Three months after his release from jail, Jamel Bentley’s sentencing has been pushed back.

Originally scheduled for July 10, Bentley’s sentencing is now set for Oct. 31.

In April, Bentley, 30, was ordered released from jail with the condition he would testify in Nicholas Riddle’s trial, which is scheduled to begin Oct. 8. The 40-year-old Riddle is due back in court Aug. 28 for a pretrial conference.

Bentley’s personal bond was granted at $20,000. Bond conditions included Bentley be hooked up to a GPS tether and ordered to alcohol and drug testing twice a week.

In October 2017, Bentley and Riddle, both of Macomb Township, were charged with second-degree murder following the death of a man they allegedly robbed and left for dead in a field off of Oliver Drive.

In court April 4, 16th Circuit Court Judge Carl Marlinga said Bentley already spent 541 days in jail.

“The whole theory is that the co-defendant, Mr. Riddle, had the intent to commit murder,” Marlinga said in April.

Marlinga cited that during previous testimony in this case, Bentley was trying to break off the assault and help the victim.

He said the Michigan Department of Corrections, or MDOC, is recommending between 47 months and 15 years in prison. Bentley was incarcerated in the Macomb County Jail from October 2017 to April 2019.

According to the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office, deputies were dispatched in the morning of Oct. 5, 2017, to Oliver Drive after receiving a call from a resident who found Jack Kitchen lying in a field near the caller’s home.

Kitchen, 55, of Macomb Township, died due to his injuries in the hospital Oct. 25.

Marlinga made it clear that all he asks of Bentley’s future testimony in Riddle’s case is for it to be truthful.

Riddle’s case was bound over to 16th Circuit Court from 41-A District Court on March 26. On April 8, a not guilty plea was entered on behalf of Riddle for two charges — unarmed robbery and second-degree murder. Unarmed robbery is a felony punishable by a maximum of 15 years in prison. Second-degree murder is punishable by up to life in prison.

Riddle has been housed at the Macomb County Jail since Oct. 10, 2017.

Bentley and Riddle were originally charged with assault to do bodily harm and unarmed robbery, according to court documents, but the charges were upped when Kitchen died.

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