Witness: Suspects in firefighter death broke into safe

Nicquel Terry
The Detroit News

Detroit — An acquaintance of the three suspects accused of murdering a veteran Detroit firefighter said he helped two of them break open a safe that contained cash when they visited his house in December.

Angel Miranda-Moll said in court Friday that he assisted Timmy Lynn Soto, 32, and Christian Rasnick, 19, because he felt intimidated by Soto.

Soto, Rasnick and Nicole Oneill, 33, are all charged with robbing and killing firefighter David Madrigal, whose lifeless body was discovered by his son Dec. 21.

The trio allegedly stole Madrigal’s 2015 Harley-Davidson-model black Ford Explorer and later set it on fire in an alley near the 3800 block of Bangor.

After murdering Madrigal, authorities say the suspects ransacked his home, stealing a safe, firearms, jewelry and other valuables.

Miranda-Moll said Soto and Rasnick were driving a black Ford Explorer when they showed up at his house with the safe.

“I asked (Soto) where he got the car but he didn’t tell me,” Miranda-Moll said from the witness stand. “I went along with it because I didn’t want to be on his bad side.”

They used a hammer and crowbar to crack the safe; Soto and Rasnick split the cash — $500 each — and gave Miranda-Moll a firearm, he said. Soto then told Miranda-Moll to get rid of the safe, Miranda-Moll said.

Soto, Rasnick and Oneill were all present during the preliminary exam on Friday in 36th District Judge Kenneth King’s courtroom.

Soto was stoic throughout the hearing, periodically looking at the witness stand. Rasnick and Oneill sat with their heads down. Miranda-Moll identified Oneill as Soto’s girlfriend.

David Madrigal’s son, also named David Madrigal, testified about the day he went to his father’s home on Vaughan on Detroit’s west side and found him dead in a recliner chair.

The younger David Madrigal said he had last spoken to his father the morning of Dec. 19.

“He sounded like he had a few drinks but he also sounded really tired,” Madrigal said.

Madrigal said when arrived at the house, he initially suspected his father had shot himself when he saw blood coming from his nose and ears. The elder David Madrigal had been depressed and expressed suicidal thoughts before his death, his son said.

A medical examiner determined that Madrigal died of blunt force trauma to the head.

Soto, Oneill and Rasnick have each been charged with felony murder, armed robbery, larceny in a building and third-degree arson. Soto also has been charged with unlawful driving away of an automobile, felon in possession of a firearm and felony firearm. Rasnick also was charged with unlawful driving away of an automobile.