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Posted on Thu, May 30, 2013 : 1:58 p.m.

University of Michigan wrestlers accused of making Molotov cocktails move toward trial

By Kyle Feldscher


One of the Molotov cocktails found on the 1100 block of White Street is visible next to a home as an officer investigates on April 9.

Daniel Brenner |

The two suspended University of Michigan wrestlers accused of making Molotov cocktails after the NCAA national championship basketball game moved toward trial Thursday.


Justin Dozier

Courtesy of Washtenaw County Jail

Justin Dozier and Rosario Bruno, both 20, waived their right to a preliminary exam at the 14A-1 District Court Thursday morning. District Court Judge Richard Conlin sent both cases to the Washtenaw County Trial Court, where they will proceed in front of Washtenaw County Trial Court Judge Archie Brown.

Dozier and Bruno stood mute on their charges and not guilty pleas were entered on their behalf. They’ll return to court for pretrial hearings in front of Brown at 1:30 p.m. July 17.


Rosario Bruno

Courtesy of the Washtenaw County Jail

Each man is charged with two counts of possessing/manufacturing explosives. Each charge carries a maximum of four years in prison.

According to Ann Arbor police, Dozier and Bruno made four Molotov cocktails and possessed them in the early hours of April 9. The explosives were found in the 1100 block of White Street, the scene of at least two fires after U-M lost to the University of Louisville.

Police arrived at the scene of a mattress fire in the 1100 block of White, extinguished it and then found a bottle with a flammable liquid inside. Police said they linked Dozier and Bruno to up to four bottles made that way.

Dozier’s address is listed in the block where the bottles were found and Bruno was taken to the hospital by Huron Valley Ambulance from a home on that block on April 9.

Both men are free on personal recognizance bond.

Kyle Feldscher covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.



Fri, May 31, 2013 : 10:59 a.m.

What does them being wrestlers have to do with the story?


Fri, May 31, 2013 : 10:56 a.m.

Oh OH trespass you destroyed evidence when you blew it up!.


Fri, May 31, 2013 : 10:06 a.m.

@Trespass -- why are you intent on heckling Kyle F on this one? It seems like he has a response to all the heckles though that make them look silly.


Fri, May 31, 2013 : 11:59 a.m.

It goes back to the original story. I want the court/crime reporters to ask more questions of the police and prosecutors. Be a little more skeptical. Flammable liquid in a bottle is not necessarily a Molotov Cocktail. Don't just accept the police or prosecutors description as truth. Ask questions about the object in question and compare it to the definition of a Molotov Cocktail. It has been my observation, in many cases, that the prosecutor over charges the crime in order to get leverage that he can use to coerce a plea deal.


Thu, May 30, 2013 : 7:31 p.m.

RE: "Police arrived at the scene of a mattress fire in the 1100 block of White, extinguished it and then found a bottle with a flammable liquid inside."_ just guessing but I think maybe leaving dangerous chemicals where fire fighters might get injured if they ignite / explode is the reason why the prosecutor is moving aggressively on this charge. It's not revealed exactly where the two suspects "stored" their "molotov cocktails" but possible injury to other tenants in the same building would be an added factor - IF they were stored in an occupied building (as seems to be the case). Oh, I may have missed the explanation but has there been word on why Mr. Bruno was taken to the hospital?


Fri, May 31, 2013 : 12:10 p.m.

@a2cents- The picture looks like a wine bottle, which probably means that they were trying to disguise that they were carrying flammable liquid (gasoline?). That is still a crime but it is probably a misdemeanor rather than the felony charges they are facing.


Fri, May 31, 2013 : 3:06 a.m.

gasoline (?) in a glass container... Gas stations can't dispense into glass containers. Suspicious on the face of it.

Kyle Feldscher

Thu, May 30, 2013 : 7:38 p.m.

He appeared to be very intoxicated that night, but I have never heard an official reason, no.


Thu, May 30, 2013 : 6:57 p.m.

Several commenters on the previous story asked if the bottles containing flammable liquid had a wick, fuse or other detonation device, which would be necessary to call them Molotov Cocktails. This story still does not answer that question. The resolution on the picture is not good enough to tell for sure but it looks to me like it has a white cap on it rather than a wick. BTW, where did you get the picture? If the police gave you that picture they certainly could have given you a closer picture of the devices so that we could tell if they are really Molotov Cocktails.


Thu, May 30, 2013 : 9:31 p.m.

@Kyle- Is there a higher resolution version of this image? I don't see a rag in this picture, even when I blow it up, but the resolution is not very high.

Kyle Feldscher

Thu, May 30, 2013 : 7:34 p.m.

As indicated, that picture was taken by our own Dan Brenner, who was with me on the scene of the fire that night. There is a photo credit under the photo, indicating who took the image. if it was provided by police, it would say "Courtesy of Ann Arbor police." I was on scene that night, and, if I remember correctly because it was a very long day and this incident was discovered about 2 a.m., there was a rag coming out of the bottle.


Thu, May 30, 2013 : 6:52 p.m.

"both 20, waived their right to a preliminary exam" "They'll return to court for pretrial hearings in front of Brown at 1:30 p.m. July 17" These two statements appear to be contradictory. I think they waived their right to a "speedy trial", that is they waived their right to have a preliminary exam within, I think, 14 days but they did not waive their right to a preliminary exam. That will occur on July 17. I am sure, as a court reporter, you must know the difference.

Kyle Feldscher

Fri, May 31, 2013 : 12:34 p.m.

Here's a better definition from the county bar association's website: "Pre-Trial Conference. Pre-Trial Conference is the Court's opportunity to evaluate cases and determine which will be readily settled and which will require more intervention. The Court's goal is to expedite the parties' focus on the issues and facilitate communication between the parties and counsel toward resolving those issues." So, to answer your question trespass, it's unlikely that evidence will be presented by the prosecutor at the pretrial hearing. It has happened in the past, during bond arguments, but it's usually a scheduling conference or an opportunity for the defendant to accept a plea deal. The upcoming hearing is a pretrial. Unless the two defendants' lawyers, the judge and the prosecutor were all mistaken in court yesterday when they agreed to the time and date of the pretrial hearing, the next hearing will be in front of Judge Brown in the trial court.


Thu, May 30, 2013 : 9:28 p.m.

@Kyle- The website that you cited says the following about a pre-trial examination; "For individuals arrested and arraigned on misdemeanor violations, the pretrial examination is the next stage of the legal process." This was not a misdemeanor violation, so is the upcoming court date going to be a pre-trial hearing or a preliminary examination (are we going to hear the prosecutor present evidence?).

Kyle Feldscher

Thu, May 30, 2013 : 7:33 p.m.

As a court reporter, I know that a preliminary exam is a hearing at the district court stage, which will determine whether there is probable cause that a crime was committed and that the defendant committed the crime. This hearing is required to be held within 14 days of arraignment, unless the defendant waives that right. The defendant also has the right to waive that hearing all together, allowing the case to be bound over to circuit court for trial. That's what happened today. This case isn't in the jurisdiction of the 36th District Court, but their website has a nice rundown of the different stages in these cases. Thanks for your comment.


Thu, May 30, 2013 : 7:26 p.m.

Trespas, they did waive their right to a preliminary exam. At a preliminary exam, it is determined if there is enough evidence to proceed with the case, and have it sent to the circuit court. They waived that right to preliminary exam, and the case was sent to the circuit court. Preliminary exams do not occur in circuit court, only in district court. The first step in circuit court is a "pretrial hearing" where they will be effectively be arraigned in the circuit court. I think your comments about this reporter not knowing the difference are clearly misplaced.