Oxford Twp. man charged in slaying of man he thought sent him threat

Mike Martindale
The Detroit News

Rochester Hills — 

An Oxford Township man who police said fatally shot a neighbor, mistakenly believing the man sent him a threatening text message, has been charged with murder.

Marcus Anthony Nathan, 36, was arraigned Friday in the death of Dennis Kirby Kendrick, 54, on a charge of open murder before Rochester Hills 52-3 District Judge Lisa Asadoorian. She ordered held him held without bond in the Oakland County Jail.

Marcus Anthony Nathan

Nathan is also charged with possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

In a news release, Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said the shooting happened about 3:30 a.m. Wednesday in the parking lot of the Abbey Ridge Apartment Homes complex on East Market Street in Oxford Township.

Kendrick was in his vehicle, preparing to leave for work, when he was confronted, investigators say, by Nathan, who had been walking around the complex parking lot looking for the person he claimed had threatened him.

Nathan saw Kendrick in his car, authorities allege, and concluded he sent the threatening text. Kendrick was shot multiple times from close range with a 9 mm handgun. Nathan then made a 911 call to report the death, investigators say, claiming he had received a threatening text. Nathan has a concealed pistol license, detectives said.

Detectives said Nathan had received a threatening text message but not from Kendrick. Kendrick, the father of a 15-year-old boy, was pronounced dead at the scene.

“This completely unnecessary and very tragic death should have never happened,” Bouchard said. “The suspect randomly concluded a completely innocent man had threatened him and then murdered him. It is unjustifiable in any terms.

“The tragedy of the situation is magnified by the fact that the victim leaves a young son, a student of Oxford High School, who has already gone through enough trauma for a lifetime,” said Bouchard. “It is appropriate the shooter should be held fully accountable.”

Detectives recovered six spent shell casings at the scene.

A probable cause conference for Nathan is set for May 5.