Royal Oak man arraigned in fatal shooting

Mike Martindale
The Detroit News

Royal Oak — A 27-year-old man charged in a fatal shooting earlier this week on Fern Street shouted out "get me a good lawyer" Thursday morning as he was escorted out of a district courtroom.

Kirk David Leach of Royal Oak was charged with open murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony in the Monday death of Kenith Tyran Walter, 28, of Madison Heights.

Royal Oak 44th District Judge Derek W. Meinecke entered a not-guilty plea on Leach's behalf and said he would appoint an attorney for Leach after the man said he "hadn't been looking around for one (attorney)" because "I never been through this."

Meinecke had Leach remanded to the Oakland Count Jail without bond pending a Nov. 6 probable cause hearing and Nov. 13 preliminary examination.

As Leach was led out of the courtroom, a weeping woman seated in the front row of the courtroom jumped up and shouted out "he didn't murder anyone." She immediately left the courthouse.

"We believe we have the person responsible," said Royal Oak Police Chief Corrigan O'Donohue outside the courtroom.

O'Donohue said a third person — not charged with any crimes — drove Walter to William Beaumont Hospital about 1:30 a.m. on Monday. Walter died in the hospital and an autopsy later determined he had been shot three times.

Police, with assistance from other local and federal agencies, tracked Leach to a Garden City address. They have also recovered the handgun believed used in the shooting.

Walter was paroled from prison in January after serving a six-year sentence for an Oakland County home invasion. Leach has some misdemeanor convictions, O'Donohue said, and the shooting is believed to have stemmed from some dispute between the pair in Leach's Royal Oak home on Fern Street near 13 Mile and Rochester.

O'Donohue stressed there is no link between the killing and another fatal shooting on Oct. 3.

Theresa Diamos, 50, was fatally shot inside her home on Altadena. A boyfriend, David D. Douglas, 49, is charged with open murder and a firearms offense in that death.

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