You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Sat, Jan 21, 2012 : 7:30 p.m.

Teens charged in Pittsfield Township shooting remain jailed on $500,000 bonds

By Lee Higgins

Three teenagers accused in a robbery Thursday night in Pittsfield Township in which a man was shot in the back of the head remained jailed Saturday afternoon on $500,000 cash or surety bonds.

Steven Hall, 19, Farai Munetsi, 16, and Charles Johnson, 15, all of whom are from Ypsilanti, are charged with conspiracy to commit armed robbery and were arraigned Saturday morning at the Washtenaw County Jail.

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for lexington.jpg

Johnson, who police said pulled the trigger in the apparent drug-related shooting at Lexington Club at Ann Arbor apartments, also is charged with assault with intent to murder.

The 33-year-old victim, who is from Ypsilanti, remains in critical condition, police said in court this morning. Investigators said he collapsed after being shot once in the head at about 7:06 p.m. outside a door to a building in the northeast area of the complex.

In an interview this morning at the county service center where Hall's arraignment was televised in the lobby, Johnson's father said Johnson was released from the county's juvenile detention facility on Tuesday. He said Johnson has been charged with six felonies in the past two years and was most recently in custody for a probation violation.

He said his son has been arrested for breaking and entering, retail fraud and home invasion. His son, who attends Huron High School, struggles with bi-polar disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and family members have pleaded with the court system to place him in a residential treatment facility for a long period of time.

“Basically the Washtenaw County Court system has failed him,” his father said. “He’s been in and out of detention for the last four years. Recently, he was locked up for two months. We've been begging for help."

Johnson's father insisted on anonymity out of fear of retaliation for the shooting. He said Johnson, who has three younger siblings, went to church with his family Tuesday night and was home Thursday afternoon, playing video games, hours before the shooting. He's not aware of his son ever using drugs or handling a gun. He said Munetsi is his son's friend, but he doesn't know how his son knows Hall. Johnson's mother also showed up at the service center today. His father said they've been thinking of the victim's family.

“We’ve been praying for them and everything," he said. Police have not released the victim's name.

About 10 people watched Hall appear in court and waited in the lobby to watch the hearings for Johnson and Munetsi. A county sheriff's department employee mistakenly turned off the television and told people they couldn't watch the hearings, thinking the proceedings weren't public because the two teenagers are juveniles. However, prosecutors said Saturday afternoon they have charged them as adults.

Police said Johnson and Munetsi met up with the victim at the complex shortly before the shooting. At some point, Hall had possession of the gun that was used to shoot the victim, police said in court today.

Hall said during his arraignment that he has no adult criminal record, but has a juvenile record. He's single, lives with his mother and has a newborn baby. On Wednesday, he interviewed for a job at a recycling plant and was scheduled to start working there Monday, he said. Magistrate Mark Nelson said he would appoint a public defender to represent Hall. Hall asked to be released on a promise to appear, but Nelson told him that wasn’t possible given the serious nature of the charges.

Preliminary hearings in the cases are scheduled for Jan. 31.

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


Tina Kelly

Tue, Jan 24, 2012 : 8:17 a.m.

It takes a community to raise a child and the court did play a big part in this child's outcome. If they had him in the SYSTEM that long, they should have had intervention for him, and especially if he was diagnose with ADHD and Bipolar. Like the father said, "they begged for help". Our CJS needs some major revisions; And for the parents that think they got all the answers who think its all about perfect parenting, you are lost. From the court house, to the school house, to the parents house, I pray for them all.


Tue, Jan 24, 2012 : 1:27 a.m.

What I think is wrong is that defendants' parents, and the rest of the public, had to watch the arraignment on a tv. Possibly the defendants weren't even in the same room as the magistrate/judge. The judge should be able to look the defendants in the eyes, even, or especially a 15 year old boy. The defendants should be able to be in the same room with their families. This is all too objective and remote. Justice" needs to be part of a community environment. Next we'll have computer programs deciding a verdict. Also, the jail does not have any face-to-face visits any more. Visits are all done via video camera from one part of the jail to the lobby. This is not right. Family members should be able to see each other and talk to each other. Some people spend a year or more in jail. Also about half the people in the jail have not been convicted.


Tue, Jan 24, 2012 : 3:17 p.m.

I thought when you went to jail you lost your rights. Why should anybody in jail have any rights to see each other and talk to each other. They lost those rights when they were arristed. The video camera is a safer alternative to in person, less chance of drugs and other crap getting into the system, not to mention the safety of the officers and prisoners. Yes, I agree that some people may be innocent but personally, I would rather safety be a greater concern; than a person, who has been arrested, rights and privilages . The courts and jails are overbooked and filled. Most minor crimes and a few major rarely result in jail time. If you are in jail, it is usually because of a serious crime with enough evidence or past history that the Judge decides you are unsafe to be out in society. That translates to loss of some rights, the victims have lost, it is only reasonable that the person who committed the crime loose, up to and including their life.

Barb's Mom

Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 2:07 p.m.

@ say it plain-- there is NO medical test for Bipolar disorder. Was this youth on medication when he was incarcerated for those 6 felonies and parole violation? Or were there strict rules that he had to follow that made him behave correctly. Parents saying a child is Bipolar and ADHD and medical proof are 2 different things.


Sun, Jan 22, 2012 : 10:09 p.m.

I have to vote with what monroe c commented. Not being responsible for your children didn't just happen yesterday. I recall 40 years ago taking my son to little league football practice. Most all parents left to go have a beer, or just away until practice was over. (the same with actual games) I never left a minute off the field, during games or practice. The coaches are not baby-sitters. It was responsible to get him there, support him and get him home. All players were between 9-13 years of age. It was pretty much the same with all sports he was involved in. I worked full time (days) and he was in school full time. Being strict and loving is a good thing.

Tina Kelly

Wed, Jan 25, 2012 : 11:23 p.m.

I just can't follow no one, Monroe C didn't say much worth agreeing with to me.

Tina Kelly

Tue, Jan 24, 2012 : 8:24 a.m.

I beg to differ, cause its not all about parenting, its just not that simple. Glad you made the little league games.

The Black Stallion3

Sun, Jan 22, 2012 : 7:39 p.m.

We need to stop supplying excuses for anyone and admit to the real problem which is the family structure and the absence of one or more parents.

Tina Kelly

Tue, Jan 24, 2012 : 8:41 a.m.

We need to stop pointing the finger at the parents and get down to the root of the problem...The Community Good Kids from "great families" go bad too.


Tue, Jan 24, 2012 : 6:10 a.m. question is to sayitplain....was this, in your opinion, mentally ill person sick when he was 5 or 6 or did it just come on when he became a teen? The family structure of even a single parent with the ability to instill good moral values, and teach discipline and the concept of accountabilty will produce children with integrity and honor....

The Black Stallion3

Sun, Jan 22, 2012 : 9:29 p.m.

Then we need to change the system and elect new representatives of the people who will do something other than sit behind a desk and collect a salary.

say it plain

Sun, Jan 22, 2012 : 9:13 p.m.

You can argue all day that 'without family structure mental illness is much more prevalent', and you'd be partly right. The factor that makes mental illness more prevalent is *stress*. Is it more stressful when families are single-parented? Almost certainly. Is it necessarily true? Not at all. Sometimes strife caused by family dysfunction can be just as great with two parents present. Do parents who are stressed out have fewer resources to address problematic behavior among their children? Absolutely. We have social workers and counselors and court-appointed probation officers and all that stuff in part to make sure that kids who are clearly messed up get the help they need to stop their actions. If the parents were *begging* for more help, then the system failed us all.

The Black Stallion3

Sun, Jan 22, 2012 : 8:29 p.m.

Without the family structure mental illness is much more prevalent.


Sun, Jan 22, 2012 : 8:25 p.m.

"family structure" is not sufficient treatment for serious mental health issues.


Sun, Jan 22, 2012 : 7:29 p.m.

I am not excusing the action of the family or the young man but It is obvious a mental health problem exist. One of the key issues I see is that the Mental Health profession in this community does not work for African Americans. Instead, the preferred option is to incarcerate and get them off the street, yet even incarcerated, they do not get the assistance needed to return to society in a healthy functioning manner. The Juvenile Court is essentially a breeding ground for the adult courts. You have young people coming from places such as Wisconsin, Colorado, Ohio, etc. who have better access to the mental health services and other resources of this community than African Americans who are residents of this state. Yet, the African American Community remains passively silent and inactive when it comes to advocating for its own preferring the think that an MLK event will solve the problem.

The Black Stallion3

Sun, Jan 22, 2012 : 11:15 p.m.

@ say it plain.........I agree

say it plain

Sun, Jan 22, 2012 : 11:07 p.m.

I would think that it goes without saying that I feel terrible for the victim here, @The Black Stallion 3. I certainly don't mean to offend by not mentioning him. How appalling is his fate, I truly wish him a speedy recovery. I can't begin to imagine the mind of someone who could shoot someone in the back of head, as was done to this poor man. I truly wish that something had been done to take the perpetrators out of our society so that this wouldn't have happened.

The Black Stallion3

Sun, Jan 22, 2012 : 9:44 p.m.

All this talk @sayitplain and you don't mention the victim. I will always feel sorry for the victims and anger towards the Criminals. Our country is in a mess now because so many people are doing it in reverse.

say it plain

Sun, Jan 22, 2012 : 9:31 p.m.

Interesting @KeepingitReal, I'm curious to know what your opinion is then on the comment above from @JA Pieper. That in the AAPS there is reluctance to 'take action' to discipline or refer for further testing/services kids who are African-American because they catch heck for making such referrals at higher rates for that sub-population of students. Surely if people around here somehow believe that tolerance for getting into trouble and acting out is somehow merely a 'cultural variation' that white folks just don't really understand well and frown upon, then you might get a situation where help isn't offered in the same way, because somehow that would be, I don't know, "culturally insensitive" or something?! In this case, the parents were *asking* for their son to get into a residential program, my my, and nothing was moving in that direction?! I mean, did some school or prison officials do an evaluation and find that the kid definitely did *not* have bipolar disorder or ADHD or whatever else the father thought was his issue? Did they just decide he spent too much time playing bad video games and nobody was making him stop?! I find the situation so saddening and the reactions of a lot of people who make assumptions about the 'poor parenting' that must be at the root of this very disturbing as well. Perhaps this boy was parented in a terrible way, but we weren't given any info about that in this piece so far as I can tell. The kid has free will obviously too, and that also seems to be missing from the discussion when all 'blame' is put on the parents. If the parents are wholly to blame, then I'd offer the idea that this child should not be charged as an adult, but I'd guess that the ones who are all about blaming the father are also very keen on seeing the 15 year old charged as an adult!?

The Black Stallion3

Sun, Jan 22, 2012 : 8:07 p.m.

If what you contend is to you purpose to change it?


Sun, Jan 22, 2012 : 3:50 p.m.

Why is it against your guidelines to have the opinion that someone who commits 6 felonies shold be in prison, regardless of age? This is not attacking a victim, this would be a hard core criminal. OK end to reading, your censorship is worse than the USSR was. Free speech is dead, too many comments deleted for unknown reasons.


Sun, Jan 22, 2012 : 3:06 p.m.

Where are the photos of these alleged criminals?


Sun, Jan 22, 2012 : 2:06 p.m.

I agree with "Say it Plain" When families don't have the insurance or co-pays for mental health treatment it can be a problem. We have world class hospitals yet not everyone can get the treatment they need.It's not uncommon for teenagers to self medicate with other drugs when they are not being properly treated and monitored.


Tue, Jan 24, 2012 : 6 a.m.

so being a criminal is a disease? only in a2....guess I should be more forgiving of the people that robbed us....they were sick...

The Black Stallion3

Sun, Jan 22, 2012 : 9:47 p.m.

He is gone for good after this and that is..... Good

say it plain

Sun, Jan 22, 2012 : 9:08 p.m.

You can argue that he should have been put away for forever after whatever else he was convicted of--breaking and entering, retail fraud, whatever. But the court system didn't do that, right? And it sounds like his family was telling them that he was going to just go and do it again, that he had some serious mental issues that he was dealing with and they wished he could get into a residential treatment program. It sounds like last opportunity the courts had to put him somewhere--either 'away for good' as some of you folks seem to think should be done, or in a mental-health treatment facility--was wasted.


Sun, Jan 22, 2012 : 3:09 p.m.

He committed 6 felonies, and now is accused of a heinous crime. He should have been in prison. Give him treatment there, knowing he should be there for life, no parole, if he injured this man so severely. He should have been put away after the 1st felony.

toothless wonder

Sun, Jan 22, 2012 : 2:15 a.m.

Prison = The place where you lose your freedom. US used to have slavery, everyone knows that.. slavery = opposite of freedom. Prisons- They can't build 'em fast enough in fact people can't wait even until they're adults to get in, permanently.

The Black Stallion3

Sun, Jan 22, 2012 : 1:54 a.m.

It is very apparent in this country that we have far to many people having babies that have no idea how to be parents and never will. The problem is they keep having them and this is the result of what we are seeing.


Sun, Jan 22, 2012 : 12:41 a.m.

6 felonies. In 2 years. That one felony every 4 months. And probation violation to boot. By the age of 15. Is Mr. Johnson blind to the direction his son's life's heading? If your kid starts committing FELONIES at age 13 and continues to commit felonies at an average of 1 every 120 days... SMH. The least you could do is take his video game privileges away, ya think? But now there's a bullet lodged into a man's brain. And Mr. Johnson blames the court? "Any fool can create a child, but it takes a MAN to be a father"

Tina Kelly

Wed, Jan 25, 2012 : 3:16 a.m.

The bible says never call a man a fool. Stop the abuse


Tue, Jan 24, 2012 : 5:58 a.m.

one does not start raising a child after he commits crimes...there is a seemingly blatant disrespect for law if the criminal behavior began at such an early age...talking about not being able to handle a child by the age of 13 or 14 is indicative of less than stellar parenting skills...and please spare me the race card, purple, green, or yellow....a disrespecting, unaccountable, entitled child becomes a disrespecting, unaccountable, entitled adolescent then adult.

say it plain

Sun, Jan 22, 2012 : 1:55 a.m.

You could argue that somehow to be a true father he should have kept his son under lock and key at home, or threatened him with whatever if he didn't get his act cleaned up, but pretty clearly with that record the boy wasn't changing his path. Maybe a residential treatment program, like the father had been asking for, could have turned him around. But, I guess somehow it's easier to believe that if someone had just taken his video game privileges away, all would be well ?


Sat, Jan 21, 2012 : 11:54 p.m.

Must agree with monroe c. Passing the buck doesn't solve anything. Sorry dad, you and mom shoulder the responsibility of raising your children not the courts. Sure hope this is a wake up and the younger siblings get better direction.


Sat, Jan 21, 2012 : 11:27 p.m.

"Johnson's father insisted on anonymity out of fear of retaliation for the shooting." And how is it that has protected this family's identity by writing "Johnson's father" and then noting that the accused is a Huron High School Student with three siblings? Wouldn't it have made sense to write "A source reported" blah blah blah?

Tina Kelly

Tue, Jan 24, 2012 : 8:39 a.m.

You need more gossip, sad

Monica R-W

Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 9:15 a.m.

Yeap...that Anonymity just few out the window. Sad, considering the comments that have been ALLOWED by on this article. They clearly point to the suspects race and these comments are crossing the line...I.E. J.A. Piper above.

say it plain

Sat, Jan 21, 2012 : 11:50 p.m.

Exactly...nice work, lots of respect for the anonymity request.

monroe c

Sat, Jan 21, 2012 : 10:49 p.m.

"Basically the Washtenaw County Court system has failed him," his father said. No, sir, you are the only one who failed your son. The last I checked, parents were responsible for their children, not the court system.

Tina Kelly

Wed, Jan 25, 2012 : 3:25 a.m.

Peace Be still monroe c. Leave the parents alone. Find someone else to bully.

Tina Kelly

Tue, Jan 24, 2012 : 8:39 a.m.

I beg to differ, think deeper.

Tina Kelly

Tue, Jan 24, 2012 : 8:37 a.m.

I disagree with monroe c, Yes Sir the courts did fail the child. Seems to me that they had him more than the parents, but they refused to help the child. There was so many resources that they could have offered the child. Wake Up Washtenaw.

The Black Stallion3

Sun, Jan 22, 2012 : 4:33 p.m.

You are absolutely right J.A. Pieper.........We are allowing the media and wackos to run this country and we need to change that soon. I give you Detroit as a prime example.

J. A. Pieper

Sun, Jan 22, 2012 : 4:09 p.m.

Say it plain Keep in mind the AAPS does not want to hear about some cultures causing discipline problems, so we are pretty much called on the carpet for being racist if we report them. AAPS has taken a huge hit through fines related to having too many students of one culture in Special Ed or being suspended, hence Dr. Green's initiative related to the discipline gap. Even less will be done now, we are caught between recognizing when a young person needs help, and being labeled racist if we recommend such help.


Sun, Jan 22, 2012 : 10:27 a.m.

No blame to spread around. The parents own this issue 100 percent. This is how society has gone wrong.

say it plain

Sat, Jan 21, 2012 : 11:50 p.m.

But once a child gets 'dealt with' by the courts system, and the parents claim that they cannot handle their child's problems on their own, that the child needs long-term residential treatment for their mental health issues, then the court system has also failed that child. There's plenty of blame to go around. You can pretend that parents are the sole keepers of their children, but we all know that teachers can see problems and recommend help. Counselors can see problems and make referrals. Mental health professionals can see problems and recommend help. Judges can see problems and recommend treatment. Once the court system gets involved, a person becomes society's 'problem' in sort of a big way. They can actually listen to a parent who says he cannot handle his child at home, or they can ignore it. Then they run the risk that it becomes a bigger problem. Which in this case it has.