Accused cop killer stays in jail cell, again

Oralandar Brand-Williams
The Detroit News

Detroit — The 21-year-old Detroit man accused in connection with the killing of a Detroit Police sergeant has thrown urine on his jailers and is not complying with authorities, a Detroit judge said Wednesday.

Defense attorney for Mr. Cromer, Sanford A. Schulman and Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Molly Kettler listens to the Hon. Deborah Langston during the hearing at Frank Murphy Hall of Justice.

It’s the second day in a row Marquise Cromer’s disruptive actions have affected court proceedings into his role in the fatal shooting of Kenneth Steil.

Cromer “has been uncooperative,” said 36th District Court Judge Deborah Langston. “Throwing urine on people”

Cromer wouldn’t leave his jail cell for an early video arraignment from the Wayne County Jail, just like the previous day.

Magistrate Charles Anderson III of the 36th District Court continued on with the arraignment without Cromer, but with his attorney, Sanford Schulman, present.

A not guilty plea was entered on his behalf and new hearing dates were scheduled, but it’s not clear if those hearings will be adjourned due to a scheduled mental competency examination Langston ordered Wednesday. During his arraignment, Cromer was ordered not to have contact with family members from his jail cell where he is being held without bond for the Sept. 11 shooting of Steil, who died about a week later from his injuries.

Marquise Cromer

A probable cause conference was held after Cromer’s arraignment and the accused cop shooter refused to leave his jail cell again.

Cromer’s attorney, Sanford Schulman, said he hasn’t been able to see his client despite numerous attempts.

“I don’t know if it is of his own volition or not,” Schulman told Langston.

During the hearing before Langston, Cromer’s brother Paris said he has tried numerous times to see Cromer but has not be able to. Langston told the man “your brother is not being cooperative ... that’s why you haven’t been able to see him.”

Paris Cromer said after the second court hearing he thinks he has been prevented from seeing his brother.

“They are refusing to let me see my brother,” Paris Cromer said outside Frank Murphy Hall of Justice not far from where his brother sits in a cell. The brother’s name is not on the list of banned visitors, those who are witnesses to the shootings.

Cromer “has been uncooperative,” said 36th District Court Judge Deborah Langston. “Throwing urine on people”

Police say that before Cromer shot Steil, he fired at his father, who had just sat down to eat a lunch, injuring him in the foot. He then pointed the gun at Sterling Cromer’s girlfriend before fleeting the home.

Sterling Cromer, longtime girlfriend Tammy Johnson and two other relatives are on the list of family members banned from seeing Cromer in jail.

Schulman said to reporters after court that it’s imperative he has some contact with his client. He said he doesn’t want to “cast aspersions” on jail authorities but that he doesn’t know what is preventing him from seeing Cromer.

“We have to find out who this young man is and what brought him to that day (of the police shooting),” Schulman said.

Langston set a Dec. 15 hearing date to review the results of Cromer’s competency exam.

Outside the 36th District Court, a family friend who also referred to himself as Cromer’s stepfather said “the boy ain’t right in the head” and said Cromer was abused by his parents as a young child.

“He snapped,” Benjamin Hand said about Cromer. “He has lead poisoning. I know he had problems.”

Hand portrayed Cromer as growing up in a troubled household and an unstable environment in which the family constantly moved to different neighborhoods. He said Cromer mostly grew up in the Joy and Clairmount area on Detroit’s west side.

“The boy needs help ... but that’s not going to change the outcome,” Hand said. “I’m very sorry (for Sgt. Steil’s death). He got a family. It’s just a sad case for us all.”

Some of Steil’s fellow police officers showed up at the hearing. One of them wore a badge with black material across it.

Schulman said Cromer’s family is expressing its “deepest, deepest” sympathy to the fallen police officer’s family.

Cromer faces charges on murder of a peace officer, first-degree murder and resisting and obstructing police officer causing death.

Steil, 46, was part of a team that tried to arrest Cromer for allegedly shooting his father in the foot earlier the day Sept. 11. The 20-year veteran of the police force died Saturday from his injuries.

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