Woods home invasion, sexual assault case heads to trial

By: Maria Allard | Grosse Pointe Times | Published February 6, 2018

 Gerald Day

Gerald Day

DETROIT — A 28-year-old Detroit man who is facing a number of criminal charges, including charges for home invasion and sexual assault that allegedly occurred in Grosse Pointe Woods last April, will stand trial next month.

A jury trial in the case against defendant Gerald Day is scheduled to begin March 12 at the 3rd Circuit Court located inside the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice in Detroit. Judge Kevin Cox has been assigned to the case.

On June 7, 2017, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy charged Day with the following crimes: first-degree home invasion; two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct during a felony and/or with a weapon; one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct during a felony and/or with a weapon; assault with intent to commit armed robbery; felon in possession of a weapon; and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. An investigation by the Grosse Pointe Woods Public Safety Department led to the charges.

According to the Public Safety Department, it is alleged that on April 15, 2017, Day broke into the home of a 37-year-old woman in the 19000 block of Raymond Street, assaulted her at gunpoint and inquired where her personal possessions were located. It is further alleged that Day sexually assaulted the woman while holding a handgun to her head. After the assault, he left her home on foot. At the time the crime occurred, evidence was collected and tested, which led to the charges.

According to testimony May 18, 2017, in Grosse Pointe Woods Municipal Court during Day’s preliminary examination on the gun charges, police found a .25-caliber automatic pistol at Day’s residence in his bedroom when investigating the sexual assault case. Grosse Pointe Woods detectives had a search warrant. During the preliminary exam, it was reported that Day was not home at the time of the search, but a relative who lives at the address was home and let police inside.

According to the Michigan Department of Corrections website, Day served a four-year sentence from September 2010 to November 2014 for one count of armed robbery and one count of conspiracy to commit armed robbery. If someone has been convicted of a felony in Michigan, he or she loses the right to possess a firearm.

In addition to the Woods case, Day faces several charges stemming from crimes that reportedly occurred April 23, 2017, in Grosse Pointe Farms, including home invasion in the first degree and unlawful imprisonment, and in Detroit Dec. 20, 2016, including home invasion in the first degree, unlawful imprisonment and interfering with a crime report. A trial on those charges is scheduled to begin March 19, according to court documents.

Day also had been charged in connection with the April 22, 2017, home invasion and attempted sexual assault that occurred against a 12-year-old girl on Washington Street in the City of Grosse Pointe. Those charges were dropped after it was confirmed that the girl did not want to testify.

A final conference was held in 3rd Circuit Court Feb. 5 in which Day was given the opportunity to take a plea deal on the charges, but he declined and opted for a trial instead. If he had taken the plea agreement, Day would have been ordered to serve 27 years minimum to 52 years maximum on the charges. Day’s court-appointed attorney, Christine Grand, met with Day on more than one occasion to discuss the plea deal, but he did not want to take it.

“He wanted to go to trial,” Grand told Judge Cox.

In court, Grand totaled up the jail time Day could serve if convicted on all the charges.

“The numbers are staggering,” Grand said. “If he was convicted of what he was charged on, he could be looking at 257.5 years. He has no shot of ever seeing the parole board.”

With the plea deal, “He could get out and still have a life,” Grand said.

Monday was Day’s last opportunity to take the plea agreement.

“(After today,) it’s off the table,” Wayne County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Danielle Bennetts said. “We’re ready to go to trial.”