Sterling Heights man arraigned on charge for allegedly murdering girlfriend

By: Brian Wells | Roseville-Eastpointe Eastsider | Published November 17, 2023




ROSEVILLE — A 42-year-old Sterling Heights man is facing a second-degree murder charge after he was found in a vehicle with his deceased girlfriend in Roseville.

At approximately 11:15 p.m. Nov. 13, Roseville police responded to a report of a disabled vehicle on Gratiot Avenue near Interstate 94. When officers arrived, they found two people inside the vehicle, according to a Nov. 14 press release from the Roseville Police Department.

One of the people, who has been identified as 45-year-old Dhoua Lao, of Warren, was found dead.

“It appears that the victim sustained significant trauma to her head and face,” the press release states.

A second person, who has been identified as 42-year-old Martin Yost, of Sterling Heights, was taken into custody after evidence found in the vehicle led investigators to believe he was involved in Lao’s death. The Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office said that Yost was passed out in the driver’s seat when police arrived.

Yost is being charged with second-degree murder, a potential life felony. He was arraigned Nov. 16 in the 39th District Court in Roseville by Judge Alyia Hakim. He is being held in the Macomb County Jail without bond.

At a probable cause conference held Nov. 29, Yost was referred to the Center for Forensic Psychiatry for an evaluation of his potential criminal responsibility and culpability. He was originally scheduled for a preliminary examination at 8:30 a.m. Dec. 6 at the district court, though according to court records, the court now has scheduled a hearing to review the center’s findings at 8:30 a.m. Feb. 28, 2024.

Yost’s attorney, Marissa Kulcsar, did not return a request for comment.

“This is a stark and tragic illustration of the severity of domestic violence,” Macomb County Prosecutor Peter Lucido said in a prepared statement. “Such crimes are deeply serious, and we are committed to ensuring that justice is served.”

The Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office reminds anyone who may be in a domestic violence situation to call 911 if there is an emergency, or the nearest police department. The National Domestic Violence Hotline can also be found online at or by calling (800) 799-7233. Turning Point, an organization that helps survivors of domestic violence, sexual violence and human trafficking, can be reached by calling (586) 463-6990.