Defense attorney Randy Rodnick speaks to murder suspect Nicholas Bahri on March 2 during a hearing in the 37th District Court.

Defense attorney Randy Rodnick speaks to murder suspect Nicholas Bahri on March 2 during a hearing in the 37th District Court.

Photo by Patricia O'Blenes

Triple murder suspect to undergo psychiatric evaluation

By: Brian Louwers | Warren Weekly | Published March 2, 2021


WARREN — A man accused of killing three people last fall, including a 6-year-old boy, over drugs and money requested a change of venue and a “better-looking attorney” during a bizarre hearing that was quickly adjourned on March 2.

Nicholas Bahri appeared in person before Judge John Chmura in the 37th District Court for what was supposed to be a preliminary examination to determine if he’ll stand trial on murder, arson, mutilation of a dead body and weapons charges. Instead, the judge ordered that he first undergo a forensic psychiatric evaluation. That process will further delay progress in the case for weeks.

Bahri is accused of killing Tukoyo Moore, 31, his son, Tai’raz Moore, 6, and girlfriend, Isis Rimson, 28.

The bodies of Rimson and Tai’raz Moore were found in the basement of a Warren home on Otis Avenue near Nine Mile and Dequindre roads on Oct. 1. Police went there after Tukoyo Moore’s body was found in a burning rental car in Detroit earlier that morning. The ensuing investigation led police to Bahri, who was arrested after a search at his home in West Bloomfield on Oct. 9.  

As the case was called for the hearing on March 2, Bahri stated that he wanted to make a statement and eventually said several things against the advice of the judge and defense attorney Randy Rodnick.

“I would just tell him not to say anything,” Rodnick cautioned.

“You can do whatever you want, because this is your life,” Chmura said. “When he tells you not to say anything, personally, I would take that advice and not say anything, because it’s probably not going to help you and very likely will hurt you.”

Bahri went on to state that he’d heard Chmura was a “good man and a fair judge” in an apparent attempt to address what he called “prosecutorial hijinks” and “pretrial leaks.” He also cited grievances with the arraigning judge, law enforcement officers and the media.

“A defendant’s right to a fair trial is a keystone of liberty,” Bahri said. “But it seems there’s a few members of law enforcement, as well as media, that have forgotten that every citizen is innocent until proven guilty and that an accused citizen’s right to freedom shouldn’t … freedom from wrongful imprisonment isn’t to be stolen or hijacked to make a big story or to be used as clickbait.”

He added, “Your honor, I am here to file a verbal motion to change venue, arguing that my arraignment was a publicity stunt that has irredeemably poisoned the potential jury pool against me.”

When Chmura attempted to move forward with the hearing, Bahri continued.  

“I’d also like to say something else. You’re right. My attorney is incredible. This man came to visit me when he got out of hip surgery. Isn’t that right, Mr. Rodnick? So, I don’t know what type of narcotics that man was on, but he told me to address him as Patrick Swayze. But this is not a roadhouse movie,” Bahri said. “If I am going to take a case to trial, I would like to have a better-looking attorney.”

Chmura then asked Rodnick if he wanted to respond to anything Bahri had said. The judge told Bahri to “stop talking” when he continued to interject as the hearing moved forward.   

“I think I look handsome. Well, as good as possible,” Rodnick said. “But the bottom line is, in regards to a venue and jury, that would be something I would take up at Circuit Court. As far as this stuff about Patrick Swayze, I don’t know what he’s talking about. I don’t know what he’s talking about on some of these things.”

Bahri responded again and claimed that Rodnick had “randomly” started “dogging and degrading not just the best, but the best-looking president this country has ever seen, Donald Trump.”

“I don’t know what his problem is, but I cannot have, I cannot trust a man that does something like that,” Bahri said.

The judge paused the hearing briefly to meet in chambers with Rodnick and Assistant Macomb County Prosecuting Attorney William Cataldo. When they went back on the record, the hearing was adjourned for the day after Rodnick made a formal request that Bahri be referred for a forensic psychiatric evaluation to determine if he’s fit to stand trial and capable of assisting in his own defense. Cataldo did not object and the judge granted the request. No further hearing date was set.

Rodnick said he would also file a request for a change of venue based on his client’s concerns. He said he’d met with Bahri numerous times to discuss the case and that he had access to a voluminous amount of discovery. The court previously granted the defense $8,000 to hire a computer expert to help process data from police investigations in Detroit, Warren and West Bloomfield.

Tukoyo Moore was found dead of a gunshot wound inside of a burning rental car at about 2 a.m. on Oct. 1. Detroit Police Department detectives tracked the red Kia Sorrento back to Moore’s address on Otis. Warren police were contacted when investigators arrived at the home and found the door ajar. That’s when officers found the bodies of Tai’raz Moore and Rimson in the basement. Both reportedly suffered gunshot wounds.

Police said the home was ransacked, but that hidden drugs, weapons and a large amount of cash were found during a search of the property.

The investigation that followed led police to Bahri’s home on Margate Lane in West Bloomfield, near Middlebelt and Long Lake roads. According to police, Tukoyo Moore was last known to be alive in the driveway at that location. He reportedly arrived in the Kia and left with Bahri shortly after 8 p.m. on Sept. 30.

Warren police said the Kia returned to the home on Otis before 10 p.m. that night and that it left the dead-end street at a high speed about an hour and a half later. Shortly after that, Bahri was allegedly observed on surveillance video buying and filling a gas can at a BP station near Eight Mile Road and Woodward Avenue.

Investigators alleged that Bahri returned to his home in West Bloomfield by cab at 3:45 a.m. on Oct. 1 and that he later used the internet to search for expensive watches and news reports about burning vehicles in Detroit.

Bahri faces mandatory life in prison if he’s convicted of first-degree murder.