Man, 26, charged in shootout death of man after 'dispute' on east side

James David Dickson
The Detroit News

Detroit — A 26-year-old Detroit man faces four felony charges related to the death of a 23-year-old man during a "dispute" between the two on Detroit's east side in April.

Records from Detroit's 36th District Court indicate Gregory Watkins will be arraigned Thursday afternoon on four charges: first-degree premeditated murder, two counts of felony firearm, and one count of possessing a firearm as a felon. He was arrested Tuesday, police said.

Gregory Watkins

Police say that at 1:30 p.m. April 19, the suspect and victim Julius Thomas had a "dispute" that ended in gunfire and Thomas's death. The gunfight took place on the 600 block of East Street, south of Mack and west of Interstate 75.

Thomas retaliated and fired back, but the suspect fled the area. 

Medics took Thomas to a hospital but he died from his injuries. The Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office says his death was the result of multiple gunshot wounds.

Watkins was discharged from the Michigan prison system last August after serving most of a two-year sentence for felony firearm after a plea deal for an August 2016 incident in Wayne County.

Prior to that Watkins was given two years of probation after pleading guilty in June 2013 to attempt to carry a concealed weapon out of Wayne County. In May 2015 he pleaded guilty to an Oakland County charge of larceny in a building and given three years of probation.