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Trial delayed for Harrison man in girlfriend’s death

Nicquel Terry
The Detroit News

Clinton Township — A woman found dead in the back seat of a car earlier this month is believed to have bled to death from shards of glass and blunt force trauma injuries to the back of her head, a prosecuting attorney said Monday.

Jean M. Cloud said in court Chantal Charlotte Rea and Eric Matthew Schultz — who has been charged in Rea’s death — had been drinking the night before the St. Clair Shores woman’s body was found on Cloverleaf in Harrison Township.

Rea was discovered around 7:50 a.m. Oct. 14 on the 39400 block in a car parked partially on a lawn about eight houses down from Schultz’s home, authorities said. Police believe Rea was fatally injured inside Schultz’s home before trying to escape in her car.

Authorities say they believe Rea, 48, and Schultz, 34, of Harrison Township were dating.

Schultz appeared in 41-B District Court on Monday for a pre-exam conference on a charge of assault with intent to do great bodily harm.

Cloud requested Schultz’s preliminary examination be postponed as complete results from the Macomb County medical examiner are still pending. Judge Carrie Fuca honored the request and set the hearing for Nov. 14, which allows an extra week.

Cloud said she believes that when the medical examiner’s report is complete, Schultz could face more serious charges.

“It’s difficult to proceed when you don’t have the information from the medical examiner,” she said.

Schultz’s attorney, George Drosis, argued it wasn’t necessary to postpone the preliminary exam based on an “assumption” there would be more charges.

“If they want to amend the complaint in the future, there’s nothing stopping them from doing that,” he said.

Drosis also tried to lower Schultz’s bond from $750,000 to $100,000 saying Schultz had never absconded from prior criminal matters.

“Mr. Schultz lives in the community, he has business in the community,” Drosis said.

Cloud objected, noting the severity of Rea’s injuries and that drops of blood were found in Schultz’s driveway and inside his house.

“He’s absolutely a threat to the community,” Cloud said. “I think the bond is very appropriate given the circumstances.”

Fuca rejected the request to lower Schultz’ bond, citing Schultz’s history of alcohol abuse.

The grisly discovery of Rea in the car came after authorities said she fled a domestic violence incident the night before at Schultz’s house.

Police said they received a call from a homeowner on Cloverleaf indicating there had been an argument.

The caller, who lives across the street from Schultz, told dispatchers a woman was trying to drive away, but appeared intoxicated. The witness lost sight of the car as it traveled away from the home, toward South River Road.

The following day another homeowner discovered the car, a silver 2003 Buick Century, in a front yard and dialed 911. It’s unknown why Rea was in the back seat of the car when she was found.

Twitter: @NicquelTerry