Plymouth Twp. teen seeks new trial in attack on family

Oralandar Brand-Williams
The Detroit News

A judge this month could decide whether a Plymouth Township teen will be granted a new trial after pleading guilty last year for her role in a plot to murder her family with her then-adult boyfriend.

Testimony in the hearing for Roksana Sikorski, now 17, began Friday before Third Circuit Judge Thomas Hathaway. Sikorski is serving 10-20 years behind bars for the plot, hatched by her former boyfriend, Michael Rivera, to kill Sikorski’s adoptive parents, Jeffrey and Laurene Sikorski and siblings in the family home in October 2014. Roksana Sikorski was 15 at the time.

The teen pleaded guilty last year to assault with intent to murder just before her scheduled trial. She stabbed her younger brother — who has since recovered — and fled out a window after her sister saw what she was doing and screamed, alerting her parents.

Sikorski’s trial attorney, Matthew Evans, took the stand Friday and was questioned by Sikorski’s appellate attorney, Jacqueline Ouvry, about his handling of the girl’s case and the plea deal that landed her behind bars.

Evans testified that Sikorski was “terrified” of testifying and did not want to go to trial on the charges against her.

“I didn’t think we would do well with her testifying,” Evans said Friday, adding the girl’s mother also wanted the plea deal.

Evans said “I told (Roksana Sikorski) she should take the deal” because there was a “significant chance” of the teen being convicted since he would not be able to mount a “duress” defense, saying she was involved in the plot because she was pressured to take part by the ex-boyfriend.

Laurene Sikorski had asked Wayne County Circuit Judge James Callahan for leniency in sentencing the girl saying “Roxie was misled and used” by Rivera, who was 22 at the time of the attack. The mother has said she did not think the teen fully understood the plea offer when she agreed to it.

Rivera is serving a life sentence for his role in the attack.

Laurene Sikorski said her daughter “had limited guidance” in making a decision on the deal which brought her the 10- to 20-year prison sentence saying, “I question my daughter’s understanding of the plea deal.”

Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Jon Wojtala told Roksana Sikorski that she would not be able to ask for another plea deal if Hathaway grants her a new trial in the case.

The hearing is slated to resume Feb. 17.


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