66-year-old Mike Reda enters the courtroom for his preliminary exam at the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice in Detroit on Thursday. (John T. Greilick / The Detroit News)
Detroit — A man accused of gunning down his girlfriend’s two female pals at a senior citizens apartment building said Thursday that he had been drinking and was boiling over with anger at the victims for coming between him and his girlfriend.
Mike Reda, 66, a retiree and father of seven children, said he had drunk about three bottles of brandy earlier in the day when he approached Deborah M. Socia, 59, one of the victims, and Paul Fratangelo, another resident of the apartment building, just after 5 p.m. Oct. 20. He is accused of aiming an assault rifle with a scope at them as they stood talking outside the Pablo Davis apartment building on Vernor near Dix.
“I cannot control myself,” Reda said during a videotaped confession played during his preliminary examination Thursday before 36th District Court Judge Joseph Baltimore. “I tell (the two women) to stay out of our lives.”
Reda said the slaying of Socia, who was shot in the head, was an accident. Reda also is accused of going to the apartment of Maria Victoria Gonzalez, 61, breaking down the door and shooting her twice in the head, according to police. In the taped confession Reda did not say Gonzalez’s shooting was an accident.
The women were friends of Reda’s girlfriend, Lupe, who is in her late 50s to early 60s, and were blamed by Reda for causing the breakup of his romance with her.
“They keep (Lupe) away from me,” said Reda during the taped confession taken a day after the shootings. “They don’t want her to come to my apartment. (Lupe) hadn’t come to my apartment in 15 days.”
Baltimore ordered Reda to stand trial on two counts of first-degree premeditated murder, one count of felony murder, one count of assault with intent to commit murder, and felony firearm.
Frantangelo, 61, described the horror of seeing Reda aim the assault rifle at him and Socia.
“I said, ‘Mike not like this ... not like this,’ ” said Frantangelo. “We’re both vets.”
Frantangelo said Socia asked Reda, “Mike, what the hell are you doing?”
Reda then asked Frantagelo to kneel and pray before firing the weapon, according to Frantangelo.
“Everything went dark,” Frantangelo testified. “I began to pray.”
Frantangelo testified Reda then ordered him to open the doors of the apartment building but Frantangelo said he was able to buy more time to get away from an enraged Reda by locking the interior door behind him. He fled to Socia’s apartment, telling her son to call police.
Reda’s defense attorney Bryan Sherer asked Baltimore to dismiss the count of assault with intent to murder in connection with Reda holding his weapon on Frantangelo. Baltimore denied the request.
Reda, a grandfather of 23 and with great-grandchildren, looked on without emotion during the testimony. His arraignment in Circuit Court is scheduled for Monday.