Police: Man who shot 8-year-old boy, 2 adults had jumped bail

George Hunter
The Detroit News

Detroit — A 24-year-old man who allegedly went on a rampage Tuesday that left two adults and two children in critical condition was arraigned twice in April for allegedly threatening one of the adult victims, his ex-girlfriend, with a bottle and knife — but he absconded after posting less than $3,000 bond.

Police say Daryl Edwards was arrested about 2:15 p.m. Tuesday in connection with the shooting hours earlier on MacKenzie Street on the city's west side. The incident left an 8-year-old boy, a 29-year-old woman and a 39-year-old man in critical condition. A 3-year-old girl also was injured, and in critical condition.

Edwards was arrested in a home in the 19000 block of St. Mary's in Detroit, about seven miles north of the shooting site, Detroit police chief James Craig said.

"It was great work by our Headquarters Surveillance Team, Special Response Team and the officers of the 8th Precinct, who all played a role in making sure this violent predator was taken off the street," Craig said.

The 29-year-old shooting victim is Edwards' ex-girlfriend, whom he allegedly threatened at least twice before, police said. But after he was arraigned in April for those alleged threats, he was given what police say are low bonds: $2,500, 10 percent, and $25,000, 10 percent. After posting the bonds, Edwards went on the lam, police said.

“More could have been done early on to ensure that this violent predator was remanded into custody," Craig said. "I’m deeply troubled. I believe had he been still in custody, the events of this morning could have been prevented.”

Edwards was arrested April 20 after two out-of-custody warrants had been issued for him. He was arraigned April 21, a Sunday, in Romulus's 34th District Court on charges of felonious assault and domestic violence.

The alleged incident happened March 14, Craig said. "The victim said he came to the same house (on MacKenzie) unannounced, and threatened to assault her with a glass bottle," the chief said. "He then allegedly drove around with the victim and threatened to kill her."

Edwards was given a bond of $2,500 10 percent by Dalton Roberson, a retired Wayne County Circuit judge acting as a visiting judge for the weekend arraignment April 21. He stayed in custody for the time being.

On April 22, Edwards was arraigned for an alleged April 8 incident in which he allegedly threatened the same woman and one of her children with a knife. He was charged as a habitual offender with felonious assault, home invasion, domestic violence and child abuse.

"At the same location, the victim said she was awakened in her bed with the male suspect sitting on top of her holding a knife to her throat," Craig said. "One child was in the bed with her, and at some point, he also held the knife to the child’s face as well.

"At some point, the suspect attempted to duct-tape the victim's mouth, but she screamed," Craig said. "He hit the victim in the face and fled."

36th District Magistrate Dawn White granted Edwards a $25,000 bond, 10 percent bond.

"He posted both bonds on April 24," Craig said. 

Edwards then went on the run, failing to show up for a May 31 court hearing, Craig said.

Gayle F. Williams, who is listed on the Wayne County court website as Edwards' court-appointed attorney, did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment Tuesday.

Roberson and White also did not return phone calls Tuesday.

Edwards in 2017 was charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct, assault with a dangerous weapon and domestic violence. He pleaded no contest and was sentenced to three years of probation.

Police officials have complained several times about judges and magistrates giving what they say are low bonds to defendants with criminal histories, or who are flight risks. The problem is especially bad during weekend arraignments in Romulus' 34th District Court, which are usually handled by visiting judges, many of them, like Roberson, retired.

In March, a Mexican citizen facing life in prison for allegedly trying to smuggle more than 6 kilos of cocaine and heroin into Detroit absconded after a Wayne County visiting magistrate freed him on $200 bond.

Last year, police officials complained after Wayne County Circuit Judge William C. McConico granted a $100,000 bond and tether to Ivory Traylor, a habitual criminal who shot at Detroit police officers.

Traylor, who had a previous armed robbery conviction, cut off his tether and fled to Clinton Township, where he was arrested less than 24 hours later. He was found guilty last year of assault with intent to commit murder.

In 2014, police officials expressed outrage after Steven Jackson was accused of trying to kill a rival, was granted bond, got out of jail after paying $10,000, and a month later shot the victim before going into hiding. He was eventually caught and convicted of crimes including assault with intent to murder.