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2 Detroit men charged in brutal murder of gay man

Sarah Rahal
The Detroit News

Detroit — Two Detroit men were charged Saturday with first-degree murder, carjacking and unlawful imprisonment after a gay man was found shot and burned on the city's east side, prosecutors said.

Wayne County Prosecutors are charging Anthony Brock, 28, and Darnell Wilson, 30, with first-degree murder and other crimes in the killing of Diano Johnson, a gay Detroit man. If convicted, the pair face up to life in prison for the murder charge.

This is the second Fair Michigan case in three days.

The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office assigned the case to Special Prosecutor Jaimie Powell Horowitz of Fair Michigan Justice Project, a program that assists Michigan law enforcement officers and prosecutors in solving serious crimes against lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people. 

This is the second Fair Michigan case in three days. On Thursday, prosecutors charged Demetris Nelson, 26, with the murder of one gay man and assault with the intent to murder another.

Earlier in June, an 18-year-old Detroit man was arraigned in the slayings of three members of the city's LGBTQ community,

"When members of Detroit’s LGBTQ community are targets of violence, the Fair Michigan Justice Project is ready to vigorously prosecute these cases," said Alanna Maguire, Fair Michigan President. "These horrifying allegations demonstrate the ongoing need for determined efforts to bring justice for all."

Prosecutors say the incident occurred on June 19 when Brock arranged to meet Johnson after the pair met on Facebook. 

Brock allegedly locked Johnson in the trunk of Johnson's car and picked up Wilson. 

Prosecutors said the two men grabbed firearms and drove Johnson to a location on the city's east side, where they dragged him from the car and shot him multiple times. 

The following morning, Brock allegedly set Johnson's car on fire, burning his legs in the process, prosecutors said.

Johnson's body was discovered by Detroit police officers on June 21. The department's investigation led tot the arrest of Brock on June 25, and Wilson on Friday. 

Johnson's mother, Vonceia Johnson posted on her son's Facebook account saying, " I would like to give a heartfelt Thank You for all the prayers, support, loving and kind words given in the loss of my son Diano Johnson. Please keep my family in prayer. Words cannot express my gratitude at this most difficult time. God Bless you and I love you all."

Prosecutors charged Brock and Wilson with one count each of first-degree murder, felony murder, armed robbery, carjacking, unlawful imprisonment, felon in possession of a firearm, and six counts of felony firearm. Brock was also charged with arson, for allegedly setting Johnson’s car on fire. 

The pair are expected to be arraigned Monday in 36th District Court in Detroit.

Twitter: @SarahRahal_