Man charged in fire that killed brother, 17

Oralandar Brand-Williams
The Detroit News

Sterling Heights – A 20-year-old Sterling Heights man was charged Monday with murder and arson in connection with a fire at his family’s home that killed his younger brother last week.

Mark Marroki was arraigned via video before Judge Stephen S. Sierawski of 41-A District Court. He held his head down at times as the charges against him were read.

Matthew Marroki-Yaldo, 17, died in the fire after he was trapped in an upstairs bedroom of the home in the 42000 block of Bloomingdale Drive about 3 a.m. Friday.

The arraignment was conducted 3 1/2 hours after Matthew’s funeral Mass at St. George Catholic Church in Shelby Township.

Assistant Macomb County Prosecutor William Cataldo said the “senseless and tragic” fire stemmed from a family dispute.

Marroki’s attorney, Andrew Kassab, would not comment on Cataldo’s statement, saying he had not looked at all of the evidence in the case yet.

In an interview after the hearing, Sterling Heights police Lt. David Sarvello said there appeared to be no history of trouble between Marroki and his younger brother.

“We don’t have any indication of tension between the brothers,” Sarvello said.

Police don’t expect anyone else to be charged but continue to investigate. “We still have some more work to do,” he said.

An autopsy showed that Matthew he died of smoke inhalation, Sarvello said.

Sierawski did not grant Marroki bond but granted a request from Kassab to order a competency exam.

“I feel like he’s a deer in (the) headlights,” Kassab told the judge.

The judge will allow Marroki to have contact with his family. The defendant’s mother and father were among those injured in the fire.

When police and fire crews arrived at the scene, they found four family members outside the home who indicated a fifth family member was trapped inside. Those family members were treated for nonlife threatening injuries, Sarvello said Friday.

A GoFundMe page had raised more than $54,000 for the family as of Monday afternoon.

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