Trial underway for man accused of shooting acquaintance

By: Kristyne E. Demske | C&G Newspapers | Published April 17, 2015

 Gerald Kupinski, 41, sits in Macomb County Circuit Court on April 15 as his trial begins.

Gerald Kupinski, 41, sits in Macomb County Circuit Court on April 15 as his trial begins.

Photo by Kristyne E. Demske

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MOUNT CLEMENS — The trial of a man accused of shooting and killing an acquaintance from Eastpointe at his home on 10 Mile Road began April 14, with the defendant’s attorney stating that the evidence would show that his client acted in self-defense and the prosecution telling the jury not to believe the story.


Gerald Kupinski, 41, of St. Clair Shores, is accused of shooting Adam Abraham, 30, of Eastpointe, on the evening of Dec. 17 while Abraham was at Kupinski’s home in the 22000 block of 10 Mile Road. Kupinski faces charges of second-degree murder, a felony firearm charge and possession of a firearm by a felon.


Kupinski’s 42-year-old wife, Kimberly Kupinski, faces charges of accessory after the fact to a felony and lying to a peace officer during a violent crime investigation. Police said she first told them that she was the one who shot Abraham, but further investigation revealed that she was lying.


The court ordered that the two trials be conducted separately, with Kimberly Kupinski’s trial scheduled to begin May 5.


A jury was selected April 14, and opening statements began April 15 in Judge Edward Servitto Jr.’s Macomb County Circuit courtroom.


Macomb County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Steve Fox said during his opening statement that Abraham was supposed to be heading to the movies with his mother that night, which is why he was wearing a nice shirt and pants, his dressy clothes.


At 7:22 p.m., Fox said, Kimberly Kupinski called 911 to say that she just shot a man in her home.


“She’s taking the fall for the man you see before you,” Fox said.


He said that Kupinski continued the lie during more than an hour of interviews at the St. Clair Shores Police Department, but the fact remains that Kupinski let Abraham into his home after he was knocking on the window with his gloved hand.


“The defendant is pointing the finger. The story evolves and it changes because poor defendant is just the victim,” Fox told the jury April 15. “You’ll see clearly that is not the case.”


Fox said Kupinski’s story also changed when police confronted him with the fact that his wife wasn’t even home at the time of the shooting.


“You can see it turn. ... ‘How do I save this lie?’ He creeps toward the truth, but he never gets there,” Fox said.


One of the things agreed upon by both sides, Fox said, is that Kupinski is a convicted felon, and so Fox alleged that he is guilty of two of the charged counts just by virtue of picking up the gun.


“What he says doesn’t add up,” Fox said. “If he’s so afraid, why doesn’t he call police?”


The truth, Fox said, is far from what is being alleged.


“The truth the evidence will show is that he never acted in self-defense. Look a little deeper than just what was said, because what was said changes.”


But Kupinski’s attorney, Craig Tank, said that Abraham showed up at the Kupinski home on 10 Mile Road unannounced, and the dress clothes he was wearing were all black and included gloves and a black beanie cap. Tank said Abraham was also in possession of a gun and a military-style knife, and proceeded not to knock on the door, but walk around and tap on the windows. Also at that time, Tank alleged that Abraham had methadone, codeine, marijuana, morphine, cocaine and other drugs in his system, and was not acting rationally.


He acted that way, Tank said, because Abraham knew that at 7 p.m., Kupinski’s jewelry store at Nine Mile and Kelly roads in Eastpointe would be closing and that Kimberly Kupinski would likely return home shortly thereafter.


“Mr. Kupinski is at home decorating his Christmas tree, and he’s waiting on his wife to drive home,” Tank said. “Adam Abraham ... walks around tapping on the windows to see what is happening inside ... to see who’s inside.”


Inside the home, Tank said, were two safes, one of which contained $7,000 from the business, which also buys and sells gold.


Friends and family came out to support both sides in the case.


Friends of the victim sitting in the courtroom said they were shocked and saddened when they heard of Abraham’s death.


“Utter shock and a lot of sadness. Blame and anger. Many stages of loss all at once,” Jodi Slifco, of Detroit, said was her reaction to the news in December. “We just hope that as much of the truth can possibly come out for all of the families involved, and of course, justice for Adam.”


The trial was expected to continue into the next week. Check back to www.candgnews.com for updates on the case.

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