Boyfriend pleads no contest to killing Theresa DeKeyzer
A man charged with killing his girlfriend and hiding her body in a concrete-capped drum pleaded no contest Wednesday to charges of first-degree murder and moving the remains.
He faces life in prison without parole when he's sentenced June 30. Scott Wobbe made the plea against the advice of his attorney, Raymond Cassar.
Jury selection was underway at Macomb County Circuit Court and issues in the case were ruled on Wednesday. when the 38-year-old entered his plea in front of Judge Mary Chrzanowski, said Warren police Detective Greg Booton. Booton investigated the case and attended the proceedings.
"She said: 'Do you understand that I will have no choice but to sentence you to life without parole?' " Booton said. Wobbe responded that he did.
While the move spares Theresa DeKeyzer's relatives the pain of a trial, Booton said, "Nobody won anything today."
"I saw two distraught mothers in the courtroom. … Both families lost a child," he said.
In a Facebook post Wednesday, DeKeyzer's sister, Leah, said she had "mixed emotions."
"A part of me is relieved to not have to sit through all the details throughout the trial, and to not have my mom have to hear what he did to her daughter," she wrote. "But another part of me is PISSED because yet again his cowardice has gotten him what he wants. He doesn't want to sit there and listen to everything he did, and he doesn't want anyone else to either. …"
Cassar said a medical examiner had not determined a cause of death for DeKeyzer. Cassar last month filed a motion seeking to dismiss the first-degree murder charge, which the judge denied this week. Still, he said his client's decision was unexpected.
"I advised him that I truly believed, and I still do, that this was not a case of first-degree murder," Cassar said. "He wanted to accept responsibility. He did not want to put the DeKeyzers through this trial. ... I think from his perspective it is his attempt to reach out to the DeKeyzer family and just show the tremendous amount of remorse that he feels."
DeKeyzer's body was found sealed in concrete last September at a Plymouth Township storage site. The 22-year-old disappeared from Warren on June 16 — the day after authorities were called to her home for an alleged assault involving Wobbe, according to police records.
Wobbe was arrested July 2 for violating probation in the alleged assault. The probation stemmed from an earlier conviction for aggravated assault and drug charges that occurred in Midland County.
While behind bars there shortly after DeKeyzer's body was discovered, he attempted suicide, according to a jail incident report obtained by The Detroit News through a Freedom of Information Act request.
Weeks later, Wobbe was charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping and disinterment of a body in connection with the death of DeKeyzer.
This year, a judge ruled Wobbe should be tried for first-degree murder and moving her body but said there wasn't enough evidence to move ahead on a kidnapping charge.
By pleading no contest to the first-degree murder charge, Wobbe faces a mandatory life sentence without parole and loses an automatic right to an appeal he would have had if he had gone to trial, but he still can file an application for a leave to appeal, Cassar said.