Slaying suspect tried to kill himself in jail

Charles E. Ramirez and Candice Williams
The Detroit News

Warren — A Westland man accused of killing his girlfriend and hiding her body in a 55-gallon drum last summer attempted suicide while jailed in September, The Detroit News has learned.

The news of the suicide attempt comes as Scott Wobbe, 37, was found competent to stand trial Tuesday by a Macomb County judge. Wobbe underwent a competency exam that was ordered during a hearing in October.

Wobbe is accused of killing of Theresa Marie DeKeyzer, 22, of Warren. Her body was discovered Sept. 19 at a Plymouth Township storage facility, in a drum sealed with cement. She had been missing for three months.

Wobbe who was in the Midland County Jail on unrelated charges of probation violation, attempted suicide Sept. 20, when he tied a sheet around his neck and jumped from a second-floor railing, according to a jail incident report obtained by The News through a Freedom of Information Act request. The sheet came loose and Wobbe landed on the floor.

The report notes that a jail video shows that Wobbe “is pacing around the pod and looks at the top of the top of the stairs, then he heads up the stairs, ties the knots and jumps. Looks as if the sheet tears and he hits the ground. He did also try to flush the torn sheet down the toilet.”

Wobbe’s attorney, Raymond Cassar, said he was aware of the suicide attempt, but had not seen the report Tuesday evening.

“I still believe there’s significant mental health issues,” Cassar said. “What the forensic center does is make a determination if he’s competent. It’s a low-level threshold. The forensic center knows there are some issues. ... I think the forensic center missed it.”

Following the incident, Wobbe, who had a red line around his neck and a lump on his forehead, was given a suicide gown and placed in a room for observation.

Less than a month later, Wobbe was charged with first-degree homicide, kidnapping and disinterment of a body in connection with the death of DeKeyzer.

Wobbe is able to assist his attorney in his defense, 37th District Court Judge Michael Chupa said Tuesday, citing a report from a mental competency exam.

Wobbe was in Chupa’s courtroom Tuesday, his first appearance since he was ordered in October to undergo the exam.

If convicted, he faces up to life in prison for the murder and kidnapping charges. The disinterment and mutilation of a body charge is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Friends and family of both DeKeyzer and Wobbe attended the hearing on Wobbe’s competency exam. Members of DeKeyzer’s family donned purple T-shirts that said “Justice for Theresa.”

Both families declined to comment after the hearing.

Chupa scheduled a preliminary examination for Feb. 20.

Cassar, asked the judge to request that the Macomb County Jail, where his client is being held without bond, to provide Wobbe with mental health therapy and medication.

Cassar said he believes his client suffers from severe anxiety.

Chupa said he would issue the request, but jail officials would make the final determination.

“He has some mental health issues that need to be addressed by the jail,” Cassar said after the hearing. “He needs to speak to a therapist and needs to be on medication.

“We want to make sure everything goes the right way,” he said. “We want to make sure he’s mentally fit to assist me in his defense.”

Cassar said he’s optimistic the jail will provide his client with therapy and medication.

DeKeyzer disappeared June 16 near the intersection of Lozier and Nine Mile in Warren. Wobbe was the last person to see her alive, police said. They say he told them he dropped her off four blocks from her home near Nine Mile and Van Dyke.

The drum was found inside a utility trailer owned by Wobbe, but not registered to him. Police also said Wobbe paid the rent for the storage facility, but did so through a third party, who they refused to identify.

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