Murder charges dropped against three teens in fatal stabbing case in Fraser

Anna Liz Nichols
The Detroit News

Three teenagers charged in a fatal stabbing in Fraser two weeks ago each had one charge of felony murder dropped during a pretrial conference Wednesday.

A 16-year-old girl, a 15-year-old girl and a 16-year-old boy still face home invasion and assault charges in the case of a stabbing which left two juveniles injured and resulted in the death of Trent Redstrom, a 14-year-old Fraser High School student.

Given the prosecution’s understanding of events, the fatal stabbing was in self-defense, Macomb County Prosecutor Peter Lucido said. Because of that, the three suspects can't be charged with felony murder. Still, it's clear from text messages and social media messaging that those involved in the incident intended to cause violence, according to the prosecution.

The dismissal of the felony murder charges makes the most serious charge against the girls a 20-year felony on home invasion. The boy still faces two felony charges on assault with intent to murder, which are punishable with life sentences.

Judge Alyia Hakim’s courtroom on Wednesday morning was filled with the family members of the three suspects. Each of the teenager’s defense teams made the case that their clients should be offered bond with house arrest with tether, noting familial support.

None of the suspects have a criminal record. Both girls had bond set to $250,000.

The boy's attorney, Jeffery Cojocar, mentioned that the details of the incident and his client’s involvement are still to be determined, as there were eight people involved in the incident.

“I don't know in 26 years, if I've ever seen a situation where there's so many conflicting stories, and I'm not talking about little minutiae. I'm talking about whether a gun was involved or not involved, whether someone walked into the house or was invited into the house, whether they broke into the house, whether it was the front or the back, whether he was armed or not, whether there was a pocket knife and he was defending himself or whether he attacked somebody and things of that nature,” Cojocar said.

The boy's bond was sent to $750,000.

The conditions of all the bonds is that none of the suspects use social media or correspond with victims or their associates.

Fraser Public Safety officers responded to the stabbing on September 13 and the three victims were taken to a hospital.

Richards Middle and Fraser High schools were placed on lockdown, though the stabbings did not take place on school property.

The defendants are scheduled to appear in court again in October.