A woman and a man were arraigned Thursday in the shooting of a retired Marine and Vietnam Veteran killed during a robbery earlier this month at an auto parts store on Detroit’s west side.
Detroiters Shawnta S. Anderson and Leviticus V. Butler were charged in connection with the killing of O’Reilly Auto Parts store manager James Haller Jr., according to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office. The two appeared for a video arraignment Thursday before 36th District Court Magistrate Bari Blake Wood.
Anderson, 23, was not given bond. Butler, 38, was given a $500,000 cash surety. If he posts the bond he would have to wear a tether. Not guilty pleas were entered for both defendants.
The pair are expected back in court 8:30 a.m. Nov. 21 for a probable cause conference and Nov. 28 for a preliminary examination. Both hearings will be held at Third Judicial Circuit Court in the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice.
Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Danielle Strace said her office is filing a motion to suppress the investigator’s report and witness list, citing a fear that “witnesses may be intimidated or harassed” She also expressed concern that their memories could be “tainted by media (coverage).”
According to the prosecutor’s office, Haller was shot in the head Nov. 1 following a robbery at the O’Reilly store in the 16800 block of Schaefer.
Haller was in the back area of the store while two cashiers were behind the counter helping customers when Anderson allegedly walked in and pointed a handgun at one of the employees and ordered him to the floor. She then allegedly went to the other cashier, pointed a gun and ordered her to open the store’s cash register.
When Anderson walked from behind the counter, Haller came from the back of the store and said “Hey”. Anderson allegedly fired a single shot, striking Haller in the head. Anderson then fled the scene in a SUV. Police and medics arrived shortly after at the store and transported Haller to a nearby hospital. He was pronounced dead two hours later.
It is alleged that after Anderson fled the store Butler acted as an accessory after the fact by assisting Anderson in escaping police.
Anderson is charged with one count of felony murder, punishable by up to life in prison without possibility of parole; two counts of armed robbery, a felony which also brings a maximum penalty of life in prison; and three counts of felony firearm, a two-year felony.
Butler has been charged with one count of accessory after the fact, a felony punishable by up to five years behind bars.
Worthy said : “By all accounts Mr. Haller was a valued ex-Marine, employee, police reservist, husband, and father. His death is heartbreaking. We will vigorously prosecute this case and do our very best to bring justice to Mr. Haller and his family.”
The case has grabbed national headlines. Last week Haller’s widow Patricia begged her husband’s killer to turn herself in.