Six arrested in murder of Eastpointe man

By: Brendan Losinski | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published April 2, 2021

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EASTPOINTE — Six suspects have been charged in connection with the murder of a 38-year-old Eastpointe man who was killed Dec. 9, 2020.

Eastpointe police officials announced the arrests March 29. According to investigators, at approximately 3:05 p.m. Dec. 9, several shots were fired at a vehicle parked in front of a home located at 21762 Rein Ave., which is north of Toepfer Drive between Gratiot Avenue and Kelly Road. When police arrived on the scene, they reported that a resident of the home, Jason Foster, was shot inside the vehicle and that 18 shell casings from two different caliber weapons were recovered.

Police believe the shots were only fired by the suspects and no return fire came from Foster. They also stated that it was believed two or three vehicles might have been involved in the attack. According to earlier police reports, Foster was rushed to a nearby hospital with a gunshot wound to the head and was pronounced dead there.

“At the time of the incident, there was very little information to go on. It was reported that two to three vehicles may have been involved with the shooting,” Eastpointe Director of Public Safety George Rouhib said in an email. “Our detectives worked around the clock for weeks with several other law enforcement agencies reviewing evidence and conducting surveillance. As a result of their diligence, they were able to arrest and charge six individuals for the murder of Mr. Foster. The … suspects were arrested and subsequently charged by the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office.”

Six suspects have been charged in connection to Foster’s death.

Jevone Melton, a 28-year-old Detroit man, was charged with one count of homicide in the first degree, one count of felony firearm, and one count of felon in possession of a firearm. He was arrested Dec. 10 in Warren.

Melton’s attorney, Camilla Barkovic, could not be reached for comment prior to publication.

Delenia Howell, a 30-year-old Detroit woman, was charged with one count of homicide in the first degree. She was arrested Dec. 12 in Detroit.

Howell’s attorney, Robyn M. Kennedy, did not wish to comment on the matter.

Keenan Delbridge, a 30-year-old Detroit man, was charged with one count of homicide in the first degree. He was arrested Dec. 16 in Detroit.

“We are still gathering discovery (information) from the Prosecutor’s Office, and we will zealously advocate for him and ensure his rights are protected and provide him with a good defense,” remarked Delbridge’s attorney, Nijad Georges Mehanna.

Kevin Foy Jr., a 28-year-old Detroit man, was charged with one count of homicide in the first degree. He was arrested Dec. 18 in Harper Woods.

Foy’s attorney, Gary W. Jones, did not wish to comment on the case.

Jermaine Hunt, a 30-year-old Warren man, was charged with one count of homicide in the first degree, one count of felony firearm and one count of felon in possession of a firearm. He was arrested Jan. 18 in Detroit. Hunt’s attorney, Steven Freers, believes there is a lack of solid evidence tying his client to the crime.

“There are five other co-defendants, and we are trying to establish a date and location for the preliminary exam because (38th District Court) is too small to hold everyone,” said Freers. “I reviewed most of the evidence I’ve been provided, and it appears that Mr. Hunt is innocent. I don’t see any hard evidence connecting him to the crime — just speculation. I feel confident he will be vindicated.”

Larry Bell Jr., a 27-year-old Detroit man, was charged with one count of homicide in the first degree and one count of felony firearm. He was arrested on March 9 in Kingsport, Tennessee, and his arraignment and extradition to Michigan were pending as of publication. Bell had not retained or been appointed an attorney prior to press time.

A preliminary exam for all six suspects has been scheduled for 1 p.m. Wednesday, April 7. The venue was not determined prior to press time.

Rouhib said that the homicide occurred one day after the boyfriend of Howell was killed in Detroit. He explained that Howell had a previous relationship with Foster and that they had children together. The killing of Howell’s boyfriend is still being investigated by the Detroit Police Department’s homicide division. Although no charges have been filed in that case, Rouhib said investigators believe the killing of Foster might have been carried out as retaliation, with Foster having been targeted as a possible suspect in the Detroit killing. Rouhib stressed that this is only a theory, however.

Several law enforcement agencies worked together to bring charges in the death of Foster. This included the Macomb County Violent Crimes Task Force, to which the Eastpointe Police Department has one officer assigned; the Detroit Police Department; the Detroit Fugitive Apprehension Team; the Warren Police Department; the Harper Woods Police Department; the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office; and FBI units from Tennessee.

“I am very proud of the efforts our officers invested into this complex investigation,” Rouhib wrote. “Each mentioned agency played a pivotal role in the arrests of these individuals. The networking with the other agencies was key to bringing this case to fruition. The officers’ diligence and perseverance is a true reflection of their character and their dedication to the profession and community they serve.”

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