Detroit teen in court in 91-year-old neighbor’s killing

Oralandar Brand-Williams
The Detroit News
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A preliminary examination date was set Thursday for the 17-year-old charged with the killing of his elderly neighbor on Detroit’s west side.

George Robert Stewart IV will return to court 1:30 p.m. Dec. 9 to determine if there is enough evidence to bind him over for trial.

The teen stood before 36th District Court Judge Kenneth King with his head down and didn’t make any public statements during his quick hearing. He did talk with his lawyer, Gabi Silver, as they left the courtroom.

A not guilty plea was entered on his behalf.

Stewart is charged with killing Paul Monchnik, 91. The retired television repairman was found beaten and burned around 2:50 a.m. Nov. 23 in his home in the 20500 block of Bentler. It is also believed Monchnik had been shot.

Monchnik’s van was taken and it and a young man were captured on a surveillance camera at nearby gas station.

A day later, police raided Stewart’s family’s home next door to Monchnik’s. The young suspect’s family turned the youth into police shortly afterward. Stewart has been charged with first-degree murder, felony murder and burning a dwelling.

Stewart was interviewed on local television talking about the crime and he appeared as a concerned neighbor who was surprised by the incident.

“I was actually outside when someone pulled off with his car,” Stewart told WJBK-TV (Channel 2) reporter Randy Wimbley. “Next thing you know, two minutes later I walk in the house and we smell fire.”

The teen had been staying with his grandfather for four or five days when the killing occurred, the family said.

Silver said Thursday she is gathering evidence and couldn’t comment, but said the situation is tragic.

“It’s a very sad situation all the way around,” Silver said after the court hearing.

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