Highland Park man to be tried in couple's traffic death

George Hunter
The Detroit News
Allivas Kyles, accused of killing two people while speeding in Detroit, at his preliminary examination in 36th District Court

Detroit — During a sometimes-contentious hearing in a Detroit courtroom Friday, a 32-year-old Highland Park man was bound over for trial on murder charges after he allegedly caused a crash that killed two people while drag racing.

Testimony from a Detroit cop during the two-hour hearing suggested Allivas Kyles was drag racing on May 14, when he allegedly t-boned a Chevy Cavalier, killing 61-year-old Sherman Wright and Eugenia Frison, 52, as the couple drove on West Seven Mile near Coyle.

Police say Kyles, who according to testimony was driving on a suspended license, ran from the scene and was later arrested, according to authorities.

During his preliminary examination Friday in 36th District Court, Kyles complained he wanted to replace his court-appointed attorney Michael McCarthy, claiming the lawyer told him at an earlier meeting: "I don't want to represent your punk ass."

McCarthy denied the allegation, and Judge Patricia L. Jefferson said: "I don’t know if that was what was said, and I don’t tend to believe that’s what was said."

At one point, as Kyles appeared to get more agitated, several court officers surrounded him as the judge ordered him to calm down. Jefferson then denied his request for a new attorney, saying he hadn't given a good reason to change lawyers. 

Throughout Friday's hearing, Kyles alternated between sitting at the defendant's table with his head in his hands and talking to his attorney during testimony, prompting the judge to order him to keep quiet.

After the judge bound Kyles over for trial, as court officers escorted him from the courtroom, he hollered: "I didn't do that. I swear to God, I didn't do that. They're lying to you."

Court officers surround defendant Allivas Kyles after he became argumentative during his preliminary examination in 36th District Court, where he is charged with second-degree murder for allegedly causing a crash that killed two people

Kyles is charged with two counts of second-degree murder, two counts of operating a vehicle with a suspended/revoked diver's license causing death, and two counts of failure to stop at an accident when at fault resulting in death.

Wayne County assistant prosecutor Jennifer Douglas called six witnesses, all Detroit police officers. 

Sgt. Paul Warner testified he viewed surveillance video that suggests Kyles, who drove a black Dodge Challenger, was drag racing with the drivers of two other Challengers.

Allivas Kyles buries his head in his hands during his preliminary exam in 36th District Court on murder charges

"The video I watched shows three Challengers lined up sitting still, burning their tires out at a red light," Warner said. "The black Challenger struck the car that was going north."

Warner said information downloaded from the "black box" in Kyles' vehicle indicates he was driving as fast as 81 mph, and was going 48 mph a split-second before the car slammed into the Cavalier. The speed limit on that stretch of Seven Mile is 35 mph, Warner said.

After the crash, police say Kyles fled the scene. Detroit police officer Zachary DiGiacomo testified he saw a man matching Kyles' description running out of an alley and into a silver car.

DiGiacomo stopped the vehicle, and Kyles was arrested and transported to a hospital before he was taken to the Detroit Detention Center.

Detroit police Cpl. Richard Schwab said he checked Kyles' driving record, and found "multiple suspensions from 2005 to 2017."

The judge said she bound the case over for trial because of "the speed of (Kyles') vehicle, and the fact that the court has heard some testimony about what the Challengers were doing when they were stationary, possibly indicating they were racing … and the defendant fled the vehicle and did not stay at the scene.”

Kyles is scheduled for an arraignment on information hearing in Wayne Circuit Court on June 14.


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Twitter: @GeorgeHunter_DN