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Posted on Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 5:59 a.m.

Man shot in face is angry judge lowered alleged shooter's bond

By Lee Higgins


Antonio Cooper, 23, shows the scars made by a tracheostomy tube that doctors inserted to save his life after Cooper was shot in the face during a robbery. The bullet entered under his nose, traveled through the roof of his mouth, knocked out three teeth and lodged in his tongue.

Melanie Maxwell |

Antonio Cooper is angry the man accused of shooting him in the face during a robbery last summer was required to pay only $5,000 to get out of jail this week as he awaits trial.

Washtenaw County Circuit Judge Melinda Morris granted a motion Monday reducing the bond of Kennyon Jackson from $100,000 cash or surety to $50,000, with the right to post 10 percent.

“I feel like she’s saying my life is worth only $5,000,” said Cooper, who was hospitalized for nine days after a bullet went through the roof of his mouth, knocked out three teeth and lodged in his tongue.

“Did she feel sorry for him?" he asked. "I'm not sure. What are her standards?"

Jackson, 19, and Tory Warren, 20, both of Ypsilanti, face charges including assault with intent to murder and armed robbery in the July 11 shooting in the hallway of an apartment building on South Grove Street in Ypsilanti. Police said the men stole cash from Cooper, who was trying to sell them a pair of high-end sunglasses.

Jackson was released Tuesday from the Washtenaw County Jail after posting bond and turned over to Wayne County authorities on a probation violation warrant. He was released Wednesday night from the Wayne County Jail without having to pay additional bond money, jail officials said.

In a motion filed last month, Jackson's attorney, Steven Tramontin, argued that Jackson's bond was excessive considering Warren was released in late July on a $5,000 cash or surety bond. Tramontin noted that Jackson can't afford "such a high bail," has family in the area and a reasonable bond would give him an opportunity to be released so he could assist in his defense.

Cooper pointed out that Jackson is the one accused of shooting him, not Warren. Police said Warren turned himself in within weeks of the shooting, but Jackson wasn't arrested until November when Washtenaw County sheriff's deputies said they found him hiding in the basement of a Superior Township home.

Cooper said Morris' decision needs to be reviewed. "I just don't get it," he said. "I'm baffled by it. I truly am."

Morris did not return a phone call Thursday seeking comment.

Thumbnail image for kennyon_roshawn_jackson.jpg




The shooting

Cooper, 23, said he was fortunate to survive the shooting. He encountered the men at about 11:50 p.m. July 11 in the second-floor of his apartment building as he was walking with his girlfriend to their third-floor apartment. He told her to go ahead, as he stayed behind, offering to sell them the sunglasses to help pay off some of his bills. Cooper had seen them before, but unlike his girlfriend, didn't know them. A man, whom police identified as Warren, asked Cooper for change for $50.

Cooper said he took out a money clip. He turned to find another man, whom police identified as Jackson, pointing a gun at his face at "point-blank range," he said. He heard a "loud boom."

“It felt like somebody hit me in the face with a pipe,” he said.

"I just started running. I just started zig-zagging through the hallway."

Cooper heard another shot and ran inside his apartment. The men took about $100 cash that he left behind.

He was bleeding and told his girlfriend he had been shot. She dialed 911. Cooper said he had a rush of adrenaline and wasn't feeling a lot of pain.

"I had my girlfriend light a cigarette for me and she passed it to me, then I smoked it," he said.

Minutes later, officers were knocking on the door. Cooper walked to an ambulance, police said, and was taken to St. Joseph Mercy Hospital.

Cooper said when he was in the emergency room medical staff told him to stay calm, that he would be fine and they were doing everything they could.

"I just kept saying, 'Don't let me die," he said. "Don't let me die." Cooper's girlfriend was eight months pregnant and he thought about the possibility that he might never get to see the baby. He asked to see his girlfriend.

"That's the last thing I remember doing is touching her stomach and I just laid back," he said.

Cooper underwent surgery and doctors wired the top part of his jaw. He wasn't able to eat normally for about three months, he said. Cooper said he was grateful to recover and see the birth of his daughter. He doesn't have any lasting medical issues related to the shooting.

“Some days I still wake up and I’m like 'Damn, I really ate a bullet to the face.”

Jackson and Warren are scheduled to go on trial in May. Jackson also is charged with possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, carrying a weapon with unlawful intent, discharging a firearm in a building and possessing a firearm while being a felon.

Lee Higgins covers crime and courts for He can be reached by phone at (734) 623-2527 and email at


James Socrates

Sat, Mar 3, 2012 : 10:41 p.m.

I am curious; has anyone read a.) the police report (ie: I am speculative as to whether he was selling sunglasses.) Secondly, while someone being shot is not small thing, no one ever tells the "whole" story which is precisley why I am constantly befuddled as to why so many people consistently raise the hue and cry on this forum only to find out "oh....they did not mention that..." Thirdly, The accuseds family is going to be responsible for 50,000 dollars in bail money as they undoubtedly cosigned on the bond. Pretty good incentive to keep a good eye on the accused. Fourthly and finally, the insightfully uninsightful individuals who are "passing judgement on a Judge" naturally show their unsuitablity to such assignment by NOT weighing or even considering all the facts. I suppose this is why they are NOT Judges and hopefully, spare their community by never being polled for jury duty.

Robert Granville

Sat, Mar 3, 2012 : 6:03 p.m.

I've seen higher bail for marijuana. 10x as high with no 10% to be exact. Ludicrous...


Sat, Mar 3, 2012 : 3:12 p.m.

On the one hand, our jails are horribly overcrowded for a plethora of reasons and we can't expect to keep everybody in there. On the other hand, this is the exact sort of suspect that we should make sure there's room for in them.

Linda Peck

Sat, Mar 3, 2012 : 11:48 a.m.

I add my dismay at our Washtenaw County Court system to the voices here. I am baffled at Judge Morris' actions in this case and in many others. We have no justice system currently! This leniency is why we have increased crime and violence in Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County. There is no jail time for criminals, they are free to go. What is the problem? Not enough room at the inn? Fear of the criminal? I don't get it!

James Socrates

Sat, Mar 3, 2012 : 10:44 p.m.

Actually Ann Arbors crime is the lowest it has ever been. Violence? Go down to Detroit or up to Flint and Saginaw and I think you will see we do not really have much violence or crime in our communities.My sincere thanks to our County Court System and Law enforcement communities for doing a bang up job!

Frustrated in A2

Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 11:11 p.m.

I feel pretty confident in saying that Jackson will be moving somewhere south of the border, he'll never show up for that next court hearing. Thanks Judge Morrison, you make me feel very safe in this community of ours. (if only sarcasm came across well in print!)

James Socrates

Sat, Mar 3, 2012 : 10:46 p.m.

Hmm I do not think Jackson is on the run... funny about that...Sure he still has time but why wait right?


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 10:38 p.m.

Melinda Morris has got to go, and not soon enough. I hear she is retiring. Does anyone know when?

Frustrated in A2

Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 11:15 p.m.

I just read that she is retiring at the end of this year when her term is up. Maybe she's doing like a governor or president and trying to pardon people before she leaves office Lol!!!

taxpayer united

Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 7:58 p.m.

Thanks Judge let him get out so he can do more harm to society. See how you feel if he harms any of your family. Judge Melinda Morris should be ashamed.

Momma G

Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 7:09 p.m.

Time for Melinda Morris to go! Can't wait for the next election. She should step down NOW!


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 4:10 p.m.

I can't even begin to express my disappointment with Judge Morris. This is not even close to the first time she has made such a bad decision on the bench. Please don't get me wrong, I am no judge, but this is common sense. Jackson deserves to sit in jail for a very long time if convicted. The sad part about this is if Jackson had any common sense, with is highly unlikely, he is already in Mexico and he will never be seen again. If this does happen Judge Morris should be held accountable. I feel bad for Mr. Cooper and the fact he may never see justice from the court system. Hopefully justice will be served one day.


Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 9:02 a.m.

@James Socrates, I have no idea what you mean by " because he knew people like you would be sitting on his jury. You don't know me and if you take the time to actually read what I wrote you would see I said, "if convicted." I understand though. You must be one of "those people" that thinks he is better than everyone. You have to learn how to read before you can join that club.

James Socrates

Sat, Mar 3, 2012 : 10:49 p.m.

If convicted... of course it could turn out that Mr. Cooper pulled a gun on the other two and the one gentlemem shot him in self defence then ran because he knew people like you would be sitting on his jury.


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 4:04 p.m.

Mr. Cooper is simply asking for an explanation of the judge's action. I do hope there will be a trial, that the defendant will show up and that justice will be properly served. "Mind your business." –– Ben Franklin. My business is and will be to let no strangers close enough to shoot and rob me. My business will be to avoid situations where I'm outnumbered and outgunned and to achieve parity in force on force encounters, should they occur.

James Socrates

Sat, Mar 3, 2012 : 10:50 p.m.

Some good advice. Thank you!


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 3:59 p.m.

Morris is soft on crime; I speak from personal experience. I'm not going to go into detail but her letting this guy go on $5000 bond sounds about up to par. What's to keep the public safe and this guy from getting another gun and this time shooting someone to death? Read and remember people, there are consequeneces to who you vote for.

James Socrates

Sat, Mar 3, 2012 : 10:53 p.m.

Hmm I am in a fundry over how a person being "soft on crime" can be known from personal experience...


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 3:22 p.m.

Steve Tramontin is an excellent criminal attorney, he must have made a fairly compelling argument to sway Judge Morris.

James Socrates

Sat, Mar 3, 2012 : 10:55 p.m.

very true an exceptional attorney. I also know that most respectable attorneys are going to prefer not to staunchly advocate for their client to go free on bond if they think he is going to run away.


Sat, Mar 3, 2012 : 1:44 p.m.

No, Steve. A good attorney knows the law; an excellent attorney knows the judge.


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 2:42 p.m.

Youn often wonder why judges do what they do.


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 2:41 p.m.

If you can gain anything positive from this story it's that Mr. Cooper was able to see the birth of his child and survive this ordeal to be a father to his child. As a parent of a two-year-old, being a dad is the best thing to happen in my life. While there are some grave misjustices going on in terms of the lowered bail, I'm just glad Mr. Cooper's child has a dad to look up to.


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 2:33 p.m.

Typical liberal judge justice!


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 2:21 p.m.

Only in America !!!


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 2:16 p.m.

Something wrong with this picture ?

Old time A2

Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 2:06 p.m.

Who is really the criminal???? Let's ge him to trial NOW!!!!!

Bertha Venation

Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 1:40 p.m.

I guess we all know now why Ann Arbor is the 5th happiest city in America at least for the "suspected" criminals. Thanks a lot, "Judge" Melinda Morris!.... THANKS A LOT!!

James Socrates

Sat, Mar 3, 2012 : 10:56 p.m.

It also seems it has one of the lowest crime rates in the country whose rate is at an all time low. Thanks alot Judge Melinda Morris!

Old time A2

Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 1:30 p.m.

In trouble in Washtenaw and Wayne county ... guilyy as charged!!!!!

Old time A2

Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 1:26 p.m.

Boo Hoo ... let the criminal rela in jail


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 1:26 p.m.

Just curious, but how does one smoke a cigarette after being shot through the roof of the mouth, and with a bullet lodged in their tongue? Must be difficult.


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 1:14 p.m.

There is not enough information here (and most of it courtesy of a sunglasses dealer selling his product in the hallway of his building), so everyone might just want to hold their fire until they actually have some facts.


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 1:12 p.m.

Melinda Morris is a DISGRACE to the Criminal Justic System!!


Sun, Mar 11, 2012 : 8:45 p.m.

not for long!


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 1:12 p.m.

There seems to be a mistaken notion from these posts that bail is meant to be punitive or to make sure the person can not get out. That is completely wrong. Bail is designed to make sure the person shows up at the trial. The bond was not $5,000. It was $50,000. Maybe you people do not understand how it works, but if he does not show up for trial, he has something bigger than the police to worry about. He has a bounty hunter coming after him. They are not required to get warrants, or read you your rights. They are instructed to bring the guy back dead or alive.


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 3:05 p.m.

Bounty hunters have laws to follow as well. They are allowed to use appropriate force in apprehending a bond jumper, but only if met with resistance from the individual.


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 1:47 p.m.

"They are instructed to bring the guy back dead or alive." Are you sure about that, or did you have a TV western flashback? If the former, I would appreciate a link that supports your claim that the "bounty hunter" is, without penalty, allowed to "bring the guy back dead or alive."

Usual Suspect

Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 1:10 p.m.

How did I know from reading only the headline that this would be Melinda Morris?

zip the cat

Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 1:05 p.m.

If Im not mistaken she is term limited and can't run next election. GOOD RIDDANCE


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 1:01 p.m.

Bail is not meant to be punitive. It's supposed to be set high enough so that should you get out of jail, you will be appropriately motivated to show up to get your money back.

Robert Granville

Sat, Mar 3, 2012 : 6:07 p.m.

I would certainly pay 5,000 for several years of my life, wouldn't you? I think 50,000 with no 10% clause would have been more reasonable. Then it's the full 50,000 on the line.


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 4:13 p.m.

Sorry bud, but if I was facing those charges and my bail was 5,000.00, I would lose all motivation to get that money back. I would be gone!


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 12:43 p.m.

The last time I checked Judges were still elected! Am I missing something here? When is the Term up anyone know? Just make sure it is up, this is why people take Justice in their own hands.


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 12:17 p.m.

Malinda Morris is retiring this year per another article today. Not soon enough in my opinion.

Steve Pepple

Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 12:11 p.m.

Commenters, fair warning. The suspects in this case are just that - suspects. At this point, they are criminally charged but have not been convicted of any crime in this case. Please keep this in mind as you comment.


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 4:55 p.m.



Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 4:46 p.m.

I agree, but why are my comment's being deleted? I never said anything that picked one side over the other. I just stated that it sounds like they knew eachother and the judge has probably seen and heard all these stories before, and maybe doesn't believe either one of them. What did I say that was wrong? Oh, nevermind. Your going to delete this too!!!


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 3:24 p.m.

The issue here isn't the victim nor the alleged suspects. The issue is Judge Melinda Morris and her continued track record of being very light on suspected "hard" crimes. I am very disappointed in what I have read this morning. I'm just shaking my head in disbelief.


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 12:05 p.m.

He can't afford "such a high bail?" hoo. He has family in the area? Yeah, that'll guarantee that he won't try to run (I guess hiding from authorities in a basement was just a hobby before he was planning to turn himself in). But this is Melinda Morris presiding. Can anybody really be surprised?


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : noon

Just more evidence Judge Morris is too soft on hard crime. All we can do is show up to vote the next time she is on the ballot and bounce her out of our local judicial system.


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 2:32 p.m.

luckily she "ages" out, I belive in July 2012 and will no longer be allowed to run again!


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 11:46 a.m.

What a joke... why let someone who shoots someone else over sunglasses, out of jail??? what are you thinking?!?!? CLEARLY this guy isnt a danger to the community......

Silly Sally

Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 11:43 a.m.

"...knocked out three teeth ... ...He doesn't have any lasting medical issues related to the shooting." I'd say loosing three teeth fairly serious, and costly. I suppose the article meant other than dental. I hope that Mr. Jackson, if guilty, rots in prison for most of his life and if he bothers anyone in the meantime, and I hope not, it is the judge who let him out. Where is Ditto for Mr. Warren. Washtenaw County Circuit Judge Melinda Morris does not seem to take public safety seriously. Elections?


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 11:19 a.m.

You don't shoot someone in the face with a gun and not intend them to die. He then flees and hides in a basement. He has to be facing a lot of prison time. How can $5,000 assure that he will show up for trial? This is crazy.