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Posted on Wed, Apr 3, 2013 : 4:09 p.m.

Two suspects in Sunday homicide remain jailed but not arraigned on charges

By Kyle Feldscher

The two suspects in Sunday’s homicide in Ypsilanti remained in the Washtenaw County Jail Wednesday without being arraigned on charges as the investigation into the case continued.


The two suspects in the homicide at Peninsular Place Sunday remain in jail Wednesday and have not been arraigned.

File photo

The 20-year-old man and 20-year-old woman arrested after the death of John Lawrence, 46, Sunday night at the Peninsular Place apartments were scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday afternoon, according to jail records. Magistrate Colleen Currie arraigned several people accused of crimes Wednesday afternoon, but the two 20-year-old suspects were not among them.

Washtenaw County Deputy Chief Assistant Prosecutor Steven Hiller said Wednesday the case was still under investigation.

“No one will be arraigned today on charges arising out of this incident,” Hiller said in an email.

The man and woman were both arrested Sunday night after police responded to the Peninsular Place apartments. Raven Lawrence, the victim’s daughter, told she was in an argument with the woman because her boyfriend was living at the apartment without a lease. She called her father to come help her because she did not feel safe.

John Lawrence gave his daughter his handgun and told her to take it to his car. By the time she returned to the apartment, the door was locked, Raven Lawrence said. When she entered the apartment with police, her father was dead.

Police believe the two 20-year-olds killed John Lawrence during the argument. It’s been confirmed that John Lawrence was hit in the head with a frying pan, but Detective Joe Yuhas said Tuesday blunt force trauma might not be the cause of death.

The final autopsy and toxicology reports won’t be ready for a few weeks, and police would not speak more about the potential cause of death Tuesday. Yuhas did not return a message left by on Wednesday.

Typically, a suspect arrested without a warrant is arraigned within 48 hours. However, Michigan law only states that “every person charged with a felony shall, without unnecessary delay after his arrest, be taken before a magistrate or other judicial officer.”

Yuhas told Tuesday the case would be turned over to Washtenaw County prosecutors on Wednesday morning for potential charges. No warrant was filed for the man and woman in the Washtenaw County Trial Court early Wednesday afternoon. is not identifying the two suspects until they are formally arraigned on charges.

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



Thu, Apr 4, 2013 : 4:53 p.m.

Unsafe Living Condition: The young nursing student felt unsafe and it would be reasonable to leave the unsafe premises immediately until help arrives and the place is determined to be safe enough for her return. This is the first principle that we teach in First Aid. The person must be moved away from an unsafe place or situation before any First Aid is administered. I am also concerned as to how her father had missed an opportunity to alert the Police Department and request for assistance. If there was a dispute about the lease or rent payment, the student missed a chance to report the problem to the owner and asked for assistance to settle the dispute. The nature of dispute between the parties could be different than as reported in this story. In any type of emergency where safety is involved, the first response should be that of leaving that unsafe place immediately.


Thu, Apr 4, 2013 : 2:47 a.m.

EMU is still in the dark about this? Or do they no longer send crime alerts?


Thu, Apr 4, 2013 : 12:44 p.m.

Robert, there is no threat to the community, therefore, no need for a Timely Warning notification required through the Clery Act. If you'd like, you can look at all of the Timely Warnings here: This is a link to the daily crime log that EMU keeps as required by Clery: You can also go into the police station and find a computer dedicated only to this site. Please don't try and drag EMU through the mud for something that has nothing to do with EMU.

Tom Todd

Wed, Apr 3, 2013 : 11:17 p.m.

Would like to know more about how these rooms are leased out and if there is not some liability here with Peninsular place


Thu, Apr 4, 2013 : 1:04 a.m.

Eep, of course that's how they rent. If a person wants to live with one other person, they should live in a 2 bedroom apartment. To me, the issue is, people want to live in Penn Place so badly that they're okay with signing a lease in 1 bedroom of a 4 bedroom apartment without knowing who the other 3 people are going to be. Penn Place obviously isn't going to rent all of their apartments with 1 person here and 2 people there, they're going to fill rooms. Everyone knows going into a lease that they're signing for 1 bedroom out of 3 or 4. If you want to know who you're living with, sign a lease with them.

Basic Bob

Thu, Apr 4, 2013 : 12:50 a.m.

This is a common practice near many universities. First, it avoids a single tenant from having to pay for a roommate who walks away. Second, it ensures that everyone who needs an apartment can get one for a reasonable price. As with any living arrangement, it has its risks as well as benefits.


Thu, Apr 4, 2013 : 12:20 a.m.

@MathGeek - From what I've read in the comments to previous articles about this incident, the leasing arrangement for this complex is actually somewhat different than what you'd expect. They basically lease out individual bedrooms within a multi-bedroom apartment with a shared living room and kitchen. Because the bedrooms are leased individually - rather than the more typical arrangement where multiple tenants sign a single lease to share an entire apartment - the tenants can end up sharing their apartment with strangers.


Wed, Apr 3, 2013 : 11:57 p.m.

It's an apartment complex. How do you think the rooms are leased?


Wed, Apr 3, 2013 : 9:21 p.m.

Regardless of what Michigan law requires, the US Supreme Court has found that holding a suspect in custody for more than 48 hours without a court hearing violates the 4th Amendment of the US Constitution because the suspect is being deprived of liberty without due process of law. The case was County of Riverside v. McLaughlin if anyone wants to look it up. The 48-hour rule is pretty much absolute - only truly extraordinary circumstances would justify holding a suspect for more than 48 hours without a court hearing - and that fact that police and prosecutors need more time to investigate would never qualify as an extraordinary circumstance. The only situations where something like this could possibly be justified would be war, wide-scale civil disturbance, natural disaster, etc.


Wed, Apr 3, 2013 : 10:18 p.m.

@Jack - I never mentioned "charges being filed" in my comment. The suspect needs to be brought into court for a hearing where the judge or magistrate determines if there is probable cause to hold them.

Jack Gladney

Wed, Apr 3, 2013 : 9:54 p.m.

McLaughlin dealt with probable cause determination being given within 48 hours as a justification for holding a detainee, not charges being filed.

Jack Gladney

Wed, Apr 3, 2013 : 8:52 p.m.

No charges within 48 hours. Me and my 21 "Thumbs Down" votes in the previous article are sticking with: The police are going to be asking some serious questions as to what was really going on with the gun in this situation.


Thu, Apr 4, 2013 : 1:44 p.m.

ahhhh!! Like maybe the comment wasn't "here take my gun and lock it in the car" and it was more like "go get my gun from the car".... sets a completely different situation. Thereby changing the speculation from responsible gun owner to crazed first degree murderer who was taken out before he could carry out the crime. Possible... we should all wait for the investigation.


Thu, Apr 4, 2013 : 1:35 a.m.

Joe Friday, I am sure the police have thought of that.