Exam clears man for trial in deaths of mom, daughter

Oralandar Brand-Williams
The Detroit News

A Detroit man charged in the deaths of a 4-year-old girl and her mother was found competent Wednesday to stand trial for their murders.

Marcus Tyrone Hightower, 34, was charged in the killings of Heidi Walker, 39, and her young daughter, Savannah Walker, both of Detroit.

Both were subjects of Amber Alerts before their bodies were found Feb. 20 in a burned-out house on Lakeview near Forest on the city’s east side. The mother and daughter had been reported missing four days before police discovered their bodies.

Hightower is facing two counts of first-degree murder as well as one count each of felony murder, first-degree child abuse, unlawful imprisonment and third-degree arson.

The causes of death are not being released by the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office for “investigative purposes,” said a county spokesman.

Hightower, Heidi Walker’s boyfriend, had been considered a person of interest in the disappearances. He turned himself into police three days after the bodies were found.

Walker’s adult daughter said there had been a history of domestic violence between the couple.

According to the Michigan Department of Corrections, Hightower was released from parole Sept. 9, 2014. He was convicted in 2007 on two counts of assault with intent to do great bodily harm, fleeing police and carrying a concealed weapon in Wayne County.

A preliminary examination for Hightower is scheduled for July 7.

bwilliams@detroitnews.com

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