Man charged in death of woman in Roseville fire

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

A 36-year-old man has been charged in the death of a woman whose body was found this week in a Roseville mobile home after a fire, police announced Wednesday.

Robert Marcell Walton was arraigned by video in front of 39th District Court Judge Joseph Boedeker on first-degree homicide and first-degree arson.

Investigators "worked tirelessly" to identify the Garden City resident, the ex-boyfriend of the victim, Janisa Sumpter, 39, police said in a statement.

Robert Walton

They learned Walton, who has an extensive violent criminal history, arrived at  Sumpter’s home in the Leslie Mobile Home Community on the 25000 block of Gratiot around 8 a.m. Monday "intending to murder her," police said in a statement.

The Macomb County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled her death a homicide caused by asphyxiation with numerous knife wounds.

Evidence showed Walton left the residence at about 9:50 a.m. just before the home burst into flames and he "set the residence on fire in an attempt to cover up the murder," police said.

Firefighters responded to the scene at about 10 a.m. and found Sumpter's body after extinguishing the blaze.

The Roseville Police Department Criminal Investigations Division submitted warrant requests to the Macomb County Prosecutor's Office, which authorized charges against Walton.

He is being held at the Macomb County Jail without bond, records show.

His next scheduled court date is May 5. If convicted, he faces up to life in prison, police said.