Judge who granted bond to alleged killer of Detroit cop draws more criticism


Detroit – A national police force is the latest group to oppose the decision of a Wayne County judge to give bail to a man charged with the murder of an off-duty Detroit police officer in 2019.

The National Association of Police Organizations sent a letter to Wayne County Circuit Court chief judge Timothy Kenny on Wednesday expressing his “extreme dismay” at the Circuit Judge Lawrence Talon’s decision.

Talon on April 1st put Eddie Ray-Jr. Johnson’s loan was $ 100,000 / 10% and ordered him to be placed under house arrest and to wear a GPS cable in case he should deposit a loan.

Johnson, 37, paid the $ 10,000 and is awaiting trial under supervision. He had been held without bail since June 2019.

On June 2, 2019, 34-year-old police officer Elaine Williams died after being shot five times in the Garden City house she shared with Johnson. Johnson was arrested later that month.

Williams was a mother of two and a 14-year-old Detroit Police Department veteran who worked in the Serious Crime Division.

Talon declined to comment in an email on Thursday, writing, “As this is a pending case, I cannot discuss it at this time. It would not be fair to those involved.”

While police and media reports describe Johnson’s case as a compassionate release on a medical matter, attorney Raymond Burkett said the loan decision was more likely due to a fair trial.

Burkett said his loan application focused on the “unfair” treatment Johnson received throughout the case, including reintroducing a first degree murder charge dropped at his preliminary hearing and lack of access to necessary medical care Treatments at Wayne County Jail.

He declined to say what Johnson’s medical problem is.

Detroit Police Chief James Craig speaks during a press conference about the bond given to the suspect, charged with the murder of DPD Sgt.  Elaine Williams in 2019 on Monday, April 5, 2021 at the Detroit Public Safety Headquarters.

Regarding the letter, press conferences and public statements, Burkett said, “This is killing us for a fair trial. It will be difficult to get a fair pool of judges.”

2019:The off duty Detroit police officer was killed in a “domestic” incident in Garden City

Burkett said the defense will show that both Williams and Johnson were shot with Williams’ service gun. He describes the violence that day as mutual, not murder.

One of the association’s officers is Mark Young of the Detroit Police Lieutenants & Sergeants Association, whose name is on the letter.

“Medical compassionate dismissal is not intended for someone who has committed such a heinous and violent crime,” said the association’s letter. “It is an affront to Sgt. Williams’ family, their colleagues in the Detroit Police Department, and the citizens of Detroit that such a violent criminal can return to the community upon compassionate release.

2019:Garden City man charged with fatal shooting of Detroit police officer

“We strongly question the rationale behind the decision to grant compassionate release to a person charged with the murder of a law enforcement officer in an act of domestic violence,” the letter continued. “He must be held accountable for this.”

Wayne County Attorney Kym Worthy on Monday called the bond “unsuitable for a first degree murder” and said her office would appeal.

Talon made the decision that Johnson will be tried for first degree murder, prosecutors found.

In a preliminary examination on September 21, 2019 before District Judge Richard Hammer before District Judge Richard Hammer, the first-degree murder charge was dismissed and replaced by a second-degree murder charge, according to court records.

In November of that year, prosecutors appealed and Talon reinstated the first-degree murder charge.

Detroit Police Chief James Craig has condemned Talon’s decision to allow a loan. On Monday he held a press conference with Williams’ family at Police Headquarters.

Williams’ sister Keisha Kemble said the family were “appalled by the judge’s decision”.

“Our hearts are forever broken and that decision opened a wound that has not healed,” added Kemble.

Craig said anyone facing Johnson’s charges should be detained regardless of their medical problems.

“Whatever the reasons, if that person had to be released for parent care, it should be done – as long as they are returned straight to prison,” Craig said Monday.

Monday:The sister of the killed policeman was “appalled” by the release of the accused murderer

Kenny did not immediately respond to requests for comment.


Dusty Kennedy