Royal Oak man charged in elderly father's slaying

Mike Martindale
The Detroit News

Royal Oak — A 31-year-old Royal Oak man was charged Monday with first-degree murder in last week’s slaying of his 73-year-old father.

Dane Steward

 Dane Mathew Steward was arraigned before Judge Derek Meinecke of 44th District Court and denied bond on the charge, which carries a penalty of life in prison without the possibility of parole. Steward was arrested Thursday in Livingston County following a chase that involved police from several jurisdictions.

Acting on concerns of relatives, Royal Oak police found Dennis Steward inside his home in the 3700 block of Elmhurst, near 13 Mile and Crooks roads, about 5:52 p.m. Thursday.

Relatives had been unable to reach Steward, who was found with his hands and legs bound. An autopsy determined he had died from strangulation and likely had been dead for more than a day.

Steward's car was missing and a "be-on-lookout" advisory was sent out for the vehicle and his son, who lived with him. A Berrien County Sheriff’s deputy reported he had come in contact with the suspect early Thursday morning near the Michigan-Indiana border when his vehicle had run out of gas.

Thursday evening, Gratiot County deputies were called to a gas station on a report of a man — later identified as the suspect — acting erratically. He resisted arrest, assaulted deputies and fled in his car, leading police on an hour-long chase that went through several counties.

In Livingston County, deputies laid out stop sticks in an effort to disable the vehicle on Interstate 96. Steward drove on flattened tires until he was apprehended in another confrontation with deputies, authorities said.

Police have offered no explanation or motive for the slaying, which remains under investigation. Steward's next hearing is set for 8:30 a.m. Feb. 1 in 44th District Court.

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