Man charged in trooper death jailed on bond violations

Mike Martindale
The Detroit News

Clarkston — A judge changed the bond Friday for a Waterford Township man charged with the crash death of a Michigan State trooper, saying the defendant committed several violations, including visiting a fast-food drive-thru after a medical visit.

Charles Raymond Warren, 69, who is charged with reckless driving and leaving the scene of an accident in the Aug. 28 dragging death of Trooper Chad Wolf, was led out of 52nd District Court in handcuffs after Judge Kelley Kostin’s decision.

Kostin, who had permitted Warren to remain free on $100,000 personal bond and a GPS tether with conditions, modified the bond to $100,000 cash or 10 percent after receiving reports of three violations in the past two weeks.

“He’s not following my orders and I have some real concerns,” Kostin told Warren and his attorney, Neil Rockind. “... It’s getting clear to me that his attitude is ‘I am going to do what I want to do and I will explain it later.’ ... I want him to understand we are not kidding around.”

Outside the courtroom, Rockind told reporters he was not expecting Kostin’s action but that she had the power to do it.

He described a deputy’s handcuffing of his client as a “show” for the news media and a reaction to an emotional case.

“I have been doing this for 23 years,” Rockind said. “You send someone to jail for a fish sandwich? It’s ridiculous.”

“Charlie Warren is a good man. Chad Wolf was a good man,” the defense attorney said. “There are no winners in this. But to treat him without courtesy was shameful.”

Before modifying Warren’s bond, Kostin cited three reports she received from pretrial services that Warren had violated several conditions of his bond and house arrest, which specified he was only to leave home for the purposes of medical and court-related appointments.

But Warren — who had his driver’s license taken from him — was driven to a doctor’s appointment by his wife, and on the way home they went through a restaurant drive-thru for “a couple sandwiches because he hadn’t eaten all day,” Rockind explained.

Kostin bristled that a parole officer had reported to her that Warren admitted the violation and said “he didn’t think anyone would notice.”

Warren, with his wife driving, also made unannounced stops at a Home Depot and at Meijer store to pick up some empty boxes he needed for a used book business.

Warren also failed to file a daily schedule of his appointments and missed an ordered test to determine if he was using alcohol or controlled substances.

Rockind said Warren called a wrong phone number “three times” for the test appointment and was unfamiliar with how to email in his appointment schedule.

The court would not accept a $10,000 personal check for Warren’s bond, and his wife left the courthouse to go to an area bank for the money. Rockind stressed his client would be bonded out later Friday.

Warren will return to court for a preliminary examination Jan. 13. He faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted on either of the charges against him.

Investigators said Wolf was in uniform and on duty riding his motorcycle on Dixie Highway in Springfield Township about 6:30 a.m. Aug. 28 when he was struck and dragged by a utility trailer being hauled by Warren.

Evidence indicated Wolf was dragged onto Interstate 75 for about four miles until Warren pulled into a rest area to check possible trouble with his vehicle. The trailer, which was empty, was not registered or licensed in Michigan and did not have proper lighting.

Warren was interviewed at the rest area and released by police. He was arrested Oct. 23 after a two-month investigation.

State records indicate Warren received several driving violations in 2008 leading to a suspended and later restricted license in 2009.

Wolf, survived by a wife and four young children, was a seven-year state police veteran and active at the Great Lakes Baptist Church in Holly.

More than 3,500 mourners, including hundreds of lawmen from across North America and Gov. Rick Snyder, packed the Fenton High School gymnasium for Wolf's funeral.

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