Bloomfield Township Four Macomb County residents charged in the April 30 shooting and botched robbery at a Bloomfield Hills attorney's home were ordered to stand trial Wednesday after one of them testified for the prosecution.
Christopher Hernandez-Montiel, 20, of Sterling Heights waived his preliminary exam at the start of proceedings before 48th District Judge Kimberly Small and then was one of the first witnesses to be called by Assistant Prosecutor Jeffrey Hall in the preliminary examination of his three co-defendants.
Under cross-examination from defense attorneys, Hernandez said he was told that in exchange for his testimony, all charges except second-degree home invasion against him would eventually be dismissed.
Hernandez said he did not know much about his co-defendants plans both before and after the shooting at attorney David Zacks's Woodwind Drive address.
Hernandez said co-defendant Devon Miller, 21, of Sterling Heights called him for a ride and asked him to pick up Henry Williams, 20, of Clinton Township and Cassandra Lynne Chobod, 22, of Sterling Heights. All four are charged with conspiracy to commit armed robbery, conspiracy to commit home invasion and related firearms offenses. Miller, who police have identified as the shooter, is the only one charged with assault with intent to murder.
Miller asked him to stop so he could buy gloves at a clothing store and he later saw the three try to disguise their faces with cloths, Hernandez testified. He also said Miller hid a handgun under the hood of the car.
"I didn't know what happened (after the shooting)," Hernandez said, adding he was promised $200 to drive the others around and wait in the car.
Investigators said the home invasion was plotted by Chobod, a former exotic dancer who told the others she had been inside the home on other occasions, knew where safes were located and their combinations.
Police say the group planned a home invasion and Miller pretended to be a police officer in an effort to get the 57-year-old Zacks to open his door. Instead Zacks shouted at his wife, Rebecca, to call the police, prompting Miller to fire five times through the wooden door, before running off.
Inside the home at the time, but not injured, were the Zacks' 7-year-old daughter; a 25-year-old son and a houseguest.
Investigators said all four suspects have made statements implicating themselves in the incident.
Hernandez said the group initially went to the house thinking no one was home.
Chobod was even texting with Zacks enroute to the address.
"'What should I say? He's texting me,'" Hernandez said an alarmed Chobod cried out during the ride to Bloomfield Hills.
After the group realized the Zacks’ house was occupied, Herandez said he was asked to drive on to Detroit to get a handgun. Then they returned with plans to force their way inside.
Zacks is reportedly out of the hospital and recovering from gunshot wounds to the hip and abdomen.
All the defendants remain jailed in lieu of bond.
Hernandez said when he dropped his three co-defendants off after the shooting he deliberately never had contact with any of them again.
"I wanted to forget about that night and get on with my life," he said.