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 Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 8:23 a.m.

Saline teen accused of robbing drug dealer will get new lawyer

By Kyle Feldscher

Citing a breakdown in the attorney-client relationship, the teenager accused of robbing a Saline drug dealer of marijuana in July will be getting a new lawyer.

James Brewer, 17, is facing two counts each of armed robbery and assault with a dangerous weapon for a July 26 incident at the Six Trails Apartment Complex in Saline. According to police, Brewer and three other men robbed and assaulted a man who was expecting to sell marijuana to Emily Beach, 16, who also is charged in the incident.

Washtenaw County Assistant Public Defender Christopher Renna had been representing Brewer since his arraignement. Renna asked Washtenaw County Trial Court Judge David Swartz to grant a motion to withdraw from the case Thursday. Swartz granted the motion and appointed the Julian Law Firm to represent Brewer.

Brewer had been scheduled to go to trial at 8:30 a.m. Feb. 27, but Swartz canceled that date in order to give his new attorney time to research the case. Brewer will be back in court at 1:30 p.m. Jan. 26 for a pretrial hearing.

According to police, Beach set up a drug deal at the apartment complex. When the dealer received a call from her, he went outside to wait and was approached by four men, one of whom was allegedly Brewer.

One of the men punched him in the head and searched through his pockets while another man stood near him and pointed a gun at him, along with his girlfriend and her mother when they came to see what was happening. Witnesses said at a preliminary exam that Brewer was not the man with the gun.

Beach faces two counts each of armed robbery and unarmed robbery for allegedly setting up the deal. She was never seen at the apartment complex, according to police and witnesses.

If convicted, both Beach and Brewer could face a maximum of life in prison.

Police have stated that it is unlikely the dealer will be charged in the case.

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


Berda Green

Sun, Jan 15, 2012 : 5:16 p.m.


Momma G

Sat, Jan 14, 2012 : 1:27 p.m.

I have to agree with TIGERS68, it's okay to be a drug dealer in Saline but you can't WALK home from a Saline bar without being ticketed for WUI and the establishment being sited? Give me a break. That's why we have so many young people being hooked on drugs these days. Something has to change in our court systems and law enforcement.


Sat, Jan 14, 2012 : 5:41 a.m.

So a guy who's accused of going out and robbing a drug dealer has, "a breakdown in the attorney-client relationship" - can't imagine why!! LOL! But it's an odd turn-about when someone does something that hurts a drug dealer (a criminal) and may then face life in prison. I know vigilantism isn't favored by law enforcement, but hey, lets try being sensible here. I strongly disagree that legalizing all "recreational drugs" is any kind of answer, let alone a sane answer. The people involved in drug production, distribution and sale make a LOT of (tax free) money. Are we so oblivious to think that THEY will give up their source of wealth w/o finding another harmful way to "make money?" As with the sale of alcohol, there are people who cannot avoid "abusing" such substances - so that creates problems for family, for society and it creates additional burden on public / medical services. There are now blocks to using tobacco: and that didn't happen "without reason." So legalizing potent drugs for non-regulated sale and use is even more justified.


Sat, Jan 14, 2012 : 5:43 a.m.

Oops: I meant: so criminalizing potent drugs for non-regulated use is even more justified. Sorry!

Robert Granville

Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 3:44 p.m.

Legalize it and be done with the crime. It's really that simple.


Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 3:43 p.m.

This whole marijuana scene is ugly. Police may have good reason not to charge the dealer. I think these guys need time in prison for all that involved in the case.


Sat, Jan 14, 2012 : 2:47 a.m.

Show me one record in washtenaw county where a pot user or dealer went to prison for just the weed? Quit spreading your false propaganda and quit making statements you cannot back up with fact HS.

Homeland Conspiracy

Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 6:53 p.m.

Then don't whine when your taxes sky rocket to house all these evil evil evil pot smokers.


Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 2:58 p.m.

"Police have stated that it is unlikely the dealer will be charged in the case." That statement is completely disgusting to me. What these kids did was wrong...but all of them were in the wrong and all should be charged accordingly. If he wasn't selling drugs maybe this whole event would have never happened. So much for "holier than thou" Saline. Glad I don't live there. They are more concerned about a wind mill eye sore (which really isn't an eye sore at all) than illegal drug use. It's ok to break the law as long as you don't do it out in the open I guess.


Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 10:28 p.m.

I would guess the dealer won't be charged because either no drugs were found in his possession, or a deal was made for his testimony.

Robert Granville

Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 3:43 p.m.

If marijuana were legal, I can guarantee you none of this would've happened. That's an "obviouscomment"


Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 2:36 p.m.

If only marijuana were legal this would never happen. I mean, how many liquor deals do you see going bad?

mike gatti

Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 8:19 p.m.

Keeping the presumption of innocence in mind, I bet that most robbers who are armed with a gun and looking for marijuana from the alleged dealer will also take any dough he/she happens to have as well.


Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 3:54 p.m.

Ahhh except when they rob a liquor store they are going in there for money 99.9% of the time. People don't do stick ups for a fifth of jim beam like what you are suggesting. Any business that handles cash transactions could potentially be robbed, the point is, is when they rob a liquor store do you think they are doing it for the liquor or the money? When a drug dealer like this guy is robbed they are doing it to take both the lucrative 'illegal' product as well as the money. That is the point smokeblwr is making


Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 3:11 p.m.

Liquor stores get robbed, so do places like Jenny's farm market. Making it legal would have no effect on whether they get robbed or not.


Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 2:24 p.m.

I thought that this was MEDICAL MARIJUANA? You mean they use it for something else?


Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 4:46 p.m.

Calm down, med marijuana fanatics! I think XMO was having fun with you!


Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 3:49 p.m.

Grasping at straws

Robert Granville

Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 3:42 p.m.

Sorry but where is medical marijuana mentioned?

Homeland Conspiracy

Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 2:12 p.m.

Why would he rob a drug dealer to get a new lawyer. If he couldn't afford a new 1 then the court would give him a free lawyer.


Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 4:24 p.m.

Does Jim write articles or just fix mistakes? If it is the latter, I think they are called editors and they typically do their work prior to publishing. Keep up the good work!

Jim Knight

Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 2:35 p.m.

Thanks for the alert. We changed the headline.

Janet Cannon

Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 2:29 p.m.

I was just going to say- who does these headlines? "will get new lawyer" would have done it without confusion.


Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 2:11 p.m.

Is this by chance the same drug dealer who's safe was ripped out of the wall a while back but never charged for selling drugs. So let me understand this, if you're a drug dealer in Saline and you get robbed, you get off scott free so you can continue to sell more drugs. Sounds more like a witness protection program for drug dealers in my opinion. And everyone asks why the world is so screwed up. Just look at the idiots we put into those positions of authority.

The Black Stallion3

Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 2:18 p.m.

SHHHHHH !! Don't you know that all our elected officials are very trustworthy and their main concern is the welfare of the people they were elected to represent? It would never be about, what can I do to get votes, it is always about, what is best for the American people. I am being fictitious of coarse.


Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 2:10 p.m.

So where are the pictures of the accused? You are able to run a photo of Dr. Weinblatt in every story, yet fail to do so in this story. Where is @justcurious at? Do you see how lacks standards? Michigan football player gets arrested multiple times and violates probation, you get a picture of the him in blazer. This guy is facing life in prison and you get no picture.

Dayne White Bull The Terrible.

Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 3:47 p.m.

Calm down they're minors. You're lucky to even have their names....


Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 2:01 p.m.

Where is the photo of Mr Brewer?


Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 1:37 p.m.

Lawyer? Isn't that Latin for "liar"? I thought I heard that on hulu once... :)