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Stringer sentenced to probation in West Bloomfield murder case

By: Maddie Forshee | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published August 9, 2018

PONTIAC — On Thursday, Aug. 2, Jaylen Stringer went before Oakland County Circuit Court Judge James Alexander to be sentenced in the case of the murder of Diana Pesserl, a West Bloomfield resident.

Alexander sentenced Stringer to five years of probation for accessory after the fact of murder.

In an earlier testimony, Stringer detailed the night of Dec. 8, 2016, and the early morning of Dec. 9, 2016.

DeSean Smith had been visiting Stringer but left during the night for a few hours; it was in those hours that it is believed Smith killed Pesserl during an attempted robbery while she sat in her car, listening to music and smoking a cigarette.

Smith had reportedly tried to rob Pesserl, but she grabbed his gun, so Smith fired the gun into her chest, according to testimony. Smith then moved her car to hide it, doused it in gasoline found in the trunk of the car and lit the car on fire.

Pesserl’s burned body was found in the trunk of her car by West Bloomfield police officers.

Before the judge handed down the sentence, Pesserl’s mother, Marina, took the chance to speak to Stringer and to the court about her experience since her daughter’s death.

“In how many ways my daughter’s murder has affected my life, it’s impossible for me to tell,” she said. “The constant fear of having anyone from the Stringer family pass my house or having (Diana’s son) Emmett being confronted with sharing a school with a Stringer creates a lot of concern.

“I don’t know how we’ll ever be able to explain this to Emmett as he grows up. I don’t know how he’s going to take it as he becomes more aware of the truth.”

Marina Pesserl said that though Stringer didn’t commit the crime, what he did was abhorrent and irresponsible. She said she can’t move out of West Bloomfield to get away, though.

“We have good memories of living there with Diana and Emmett in our house,” she said. “Memories are all we are left with.”

Marina Pesserl said that she doesn’t believe Stringer has spent enough time in jail to learn his lesson or take responsibility for what he did.

Stringer responded to Marina Pesserl and said he regrets everything he did.

“If I could have, I would have stopped what happened from happening,” he said. “I didn’t know DeSean was on the path he was on. ... I accept full responsibility. I wake up every day wishing it never happened. I am very sorry, and I hope one day you’ll forgive me for what happened.”

Before handing the sentence down, Alexander said it was a difficult decision for him to make.

The probation comes with terms including a five-year GPS tether, a curfew from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m., as well as an order to move out of West Bloomfield and never visit the township during the probation period.

Stringer was ordered to serve 365 days in jail, but was given credit for the 433 days he’d already spent in jail. He has to complete 500 hours of community service during the time he’s on probation.