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Woman charged in Sterling Heights killing

Candice Williams
The Detroit News

A 20-year-old Madison Heights woman was arraigned Tuesday on murder charges after the death of a man whose body was found Friday after a fire at his Sterling Heights home.

Bria Corrine-Janelle Blackmon was arraigned in 41-A District Court on first degree murder, felony murder, armed robbery and illegal use of financial transaction device, according to Sterling Heights police. She is being held without bond.

The body of Michael Scott Freeland, 57, was found Friday morning during the fire in the 37000 block of Andrew. Freeland lived alone, police said.

“Evidence on scene and through autopsy led investigators to determine the cause of death was a homicide prior to the fire,” police said in a statement Tuesday. “Evidence from the victim’s computer and cell phone identified a suspect.”

Blackmon was arrested Monday. Police say their investigation revealed she met Freeland on Craigslist and started dating him. She then robbed him which led to his death, police said. Police continue to investigate if other individuals were involved.

“Sadly, the dangers affiliated in conducting business with a complete stranger through craigslist has resulted in another tragic loss of life,” Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith said in a statement. “I commend the men and women of (Sterling Heights Police Department) for their unwavering commitment in solving this homicide. My office will take every step necessary to bring justice to the family of Michael Freeland.”

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