February 18, 2014 at 1:00 am

4 charged in torture-slayings of 3 on Detroit's west side

Four suspects arrested in connection with the alleged torture and slaying of three men on the city’s west side have been arraigned in the deaths.

Larry Paul Johnson, Rashawn Tyrell Johnson, Keeshon Lorenzo Lake and Tenisha Shavell Jackson — each charged with first-degree murder, felony murder and two counts of armed robbery and first-degree arson in connection with the Feb. 10 deaths of a father, son and another male who were discovered during a arson fire of a house in the 13000 block of Bentler.

They were arraigned over the weekend, according to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office.

A preliminary examination will be held at 1:30 p.m. Thursday before 36th District Court Judge Alicia Jones-Coleman.

Detroit police announced Monday the arrest of the four suspects after fire crews discovered the victims last week in a burning home on Bentler.

Within days, federal, state and local authorities of a newly formed task force arrested four suspects in the triple homicide.

The Homicide Task Force, consisting of Detroit police, Michigan State Police and ATF, responded to a blaze in the 13000 block of Bentler, near Schoolcraft at 3 p.m. Feb. 10, where the three male victims were found in the modest white house. Detroit police Sgt. Michael Woody said the “horrific” nature of the victims’ wounds indicated that their deaths were not from the fire. The three were stabbed multiple times in what “appeared to be torture wounds” and one was shot in the back of the head, Woody said.

The Medical Examiner’s Office said Lawrence Bowman, 51; his son, Nicholas Bowman, 26; and Michael Hoots, 24, were identified as the victims. Nicholas Bowman died at a hospital.

Authorities worked overnight after the discovery, sifting through charred remains for evidence and canvassing the area for witnesses. They pumped 18 inches of water from the home’s basement to reach the Bowmans.

Assisted by members of the Cooperative Violence Reduction Program, authorities gained information that the suspects were in the area of Virgil and Plymouth in Redford Township. They located Hoots’ Chrysler 200 parked unattended on the street and focused their investigation on a home in the 11300 block of Virgil.

Upon obtaining a search warrant, they entered the home, where they found a female suspect and a male suspect. Another sweep of the house yielded one victim’s personal belongings and identification, and another victim’s identification and bloody clothing.

Interviews of the suspects led to the two other males suspects: one who was arrested at midnight on Feb. 12 at 9500 block of Memorial and another at 4 a.m. the same day in the 9600 block of Piedmont.

Many members of law enforcement worked up to 28 consecutive hours on the case, according to Detroit police.

TBriscoe@detroitnews.com
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