Second man arrested in killing of Detroit woman gunned down in her driveway

Detroit — Investigators have arrested a second man in connection with last week's shooting death of a 40-year-old woman who was killed in the driveway of her east side home shortly after dropping off her children at school.

Monday's arrest was announced hours after a Wayne County judge increased the bond of David Hammond, 45, who is accused of assaulting his ex-girlfriend Andrea Tucker and firebombing her house in 2019. Hammond, who had been free on his own recognizance prior to Friday, had his bond upped to $300,000.

Hammond last week was named as a person of interest in Tucker's Nov. 17 shooting death. During a Monday press conference, Detroit Police Chief James White said the second suspect is related to Hammond.

"We're confident we have the two men (responsible for Tucker's killing) in custody," White said. "We've got a lot to do before we submit this warrant."

White added: "One person who we know was on the scene was lying in wait for our victim. We know who pulled the trigger."

Hammond's lawyer told The Detroit News last week that his client couldn't have committed the killing because he appeared via Zoom for a court hearing in the assault and arson case during the time police said Tucker was killed.

David Hammond

Hammond, who has prior armed robbery and felony drug convictions, was granted a $7,500 personal bond by 36th District Judge Millicent Sherman in October 2020 after being charged with domestic violence, felonious assault, second-degree arson and first-degree home invasion.

Hammond's case languished for months because of COVID-related delays until a Nov. 3 preliminary examination, in which Hammond was bound over for trial by 36th District Judge Kenneth King.

King continued his bond conditions, which included no contact with Tucker and no out-of-state travel.

After Hammond was bound over for trial, Tucker asked police for protection, because she said she had doorbell video showing a man she believed to be her ex-boyfriend standing in her yard.

On Nov. 12, police officials asked prosecutors to file a motion requesting that the court revoke Hammond's bond. An assistant prosecutor rejected the request without checking with supervisors, Assistant Prosecutor Maria Miller said.

Prosecutors filed the motion Thursday after The Detroit News reported the request by police was denied. Monday's hearing was on the emergency motion.

During the hearing, prosecutors said Hammond violated conditions of the bond when he left the state and went to Toledo, Ohio, after Tucker's death. Police said they tracked Hammond to a hotel in Toledo and saw him there.

"Mr. Hammond, I'm convinced, violated the conditions of his bond by leaving the state of Michigan even though he returned to the greater Metro Detroit area a relatively short time later," Wayne Circuit Judge Gregory Bill said during the virtual bond hearing that lasted nearly two hours. 

Bill said Hammond's criminal history and the fact that police have named him a person of interest in Tucker's death are additional reasons to increase his bond.

The judge also said if Hammond was able to post the bond, he would have to wear a GPS tether as a condition of release. Bill also scheduled a deposition conference in Hammond's case for 9 a.m. Tuesday.

Hammond's attorney, David Steingold, told the court that his client would never be able to post the bond. He sought to have Hammond's $7,500 bond continued, saying his client never missed any court dates or never violated any of the bond conditions until recently.

"My client hasn't done anything that justifies revoking his bond," Steingold said. "Even if we suppose he did go to Toledo for a minute, I don't believe that justifies revoking his bond when there's been no other violation." 

Steingold maintains Hammond is innocent and said when his client heard Tucker had been shot and killed, he feared authorities would accuse him and "wanted to be in a place where he could talk to me and make a decision on how to proceed before he turned himself in."

He also said there's no way Hammond could have killed Tucker because when she was gunned down at 9 a.m. Wednesday, his client was in court. Wayne County Circuit Court records show Hammond was scheduled to be in court at 9 a.m. Wednesday for an arraignment, which was held.

However, prosecutors said police arrested Hammond in St. Clair Shores on Thursday. They said he also had more than $14,000 in cash on him. Steingold said Hammond had the money to pay for his retainer.  

Trish Gerard, head of the Domestic Violence Unit of the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office, said no matter the reason, Hammond violated the conditions of his bond by leaving Michigan.

"This is the point and this is the bottom line," she told the court. "Ms. Tucker was shot and killed on Nov. 17 and on Nov. 18, this defendant is found in Toledo, Ohio ... a few hours later, he's arrested with $14,000 in cash on his person."

Andrea Tucker

Gerard had asked the judge Monday to raise Hammond's bond to $500,000.

In 1993, Hammond pleaded guilty to armed robbery in Washtenaw County and was sentenced to three to 10 years, according to officials. He also was found guilty in 2002 of felony drug possession in Oakland County.

"He was out on personal bond (in the domestic violence case), he showed in the past to be a violent person, and he probably should've been in custody," White said.

The chief added: "(Tucker's) relatives have reached out to us multiple times to express their frustration with the system ... (Tucker) really did everything right. She was a mother raising her children; she reached out for assistance in the system, but the system was not there for her. But we are going to bring closure for this family."

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Twitter: @GeorgeHunter_DN