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A Detroit man who has waited years to be sentenced for a 2009 slaying was taken into custody Monday while he waits to learn his fate from a Wayne County judge.

Leroy Moon was to be sentenced nearly six years ago for the fatal shooting of 36-year-old Shawn Johnson but the initial hearing was postponed due to medical issues with Moon.

A new sentence date was scheduled for Tuesday.

“Moon came in on his own yesterday and I took him into custody,” Judge Cynthia Gray Hathaway said Tuesday. Hathaway said she ordered the 78-year-old into custody because she didn’t want to “take a chance” of anything else going wrong with the case while she continues to look into the long delay.

“I will get to the bottom of it,” Hathaway said Tuesday. She said Moon was told of a sentencing date years ago but just did not show up. “I don’t know how a case disappears into thin air.”

Hathaway said Moon is in a medical unit of the Wayne County Jail and that jail staff is keeping a careful watch on him because of past medical issues.

Moon’s first trial ended with a hung jury in October 2010. A retrial was scheduled twice for the following year but canceled both times before Moon entered his no-contest plea in December 2011.

He was to be sentenced in April 2012 but the hearing was canceled. Moon was scheduled for a post-conviction competency examination in June 2012 and found competent at a hearing later that year..

Hathaway said Tuesday she will hear from the prosecutor in the case and Moon’s defense attorney about having a pre-sentence report done before she sentences Moon. The judge said she is “open” to a different disposition of the case but stressed “there needs to be a disposition.”

Hathaway said Moon “could” end up not getting any jail time or very little if a pre-sentencing report shows his record has been clean while he’s been out waiting for sentencing.

Moon was convicted of the slaying of Shawn Johnson in December 2011. A spokeswoman for the Wayne County prosecutor said authorities “lost track of the case.” Meanwhile, Moon had been a free man until Monday.

Moon was scheduled several times to be sentenced to a year in jail for manslaughter under a 2011 sentencing recommendation. The long delay between his no-contest plea and sentencing has shocked legal observers.

Maria Miller, spokeswoman for the prosecutor’s office, said Moon’s sentencing slipped through the cracks after a series of delays caused in part by Moon’s medical issues.

The defendant, said Miller, was scheduled to be sentenced May 6, 2014, and he had a “serious” medical situation that caused him to be hospitalized. A pretrial hearing was scheduled for Moon two weeks later, on May 21, but didn’t take place.

She said the prosecutor’s office would periodically contact the defense and the court about rescheduling.

“While this matter was pending, the (assistant prosecutor) handling the case left the office, and at some point we lost track of the case,” Miller said last month. “Also, there were no further dates that were scheduled by the court.”

Miller said the prosecutor’s office became aware of the delay when it received an inquiry from The Detroit News about the case.

“Once it was confirmed that defendant Moon had not been sentenced, (the prosecutor’s office) requested a new sentence date,” she said.

Efforts by The News to reach Moon or obtain a comment from his defense attorney, Marlon Blake Evans, were unsuccessful.

Moon’s first trial ended with a hung jury in October 2010. A retrial was scheduled twice for the following year but canceled both times before Moon entered his no-contest plea in December 2011.

He was to be sentenced in April 2012 but the hearing was canceled. Moon was scheduled for a post-conviction competency examination in June 2012 and found competent at a hearing later that year.

bwilliams@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2027

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