Store death: ‘Bringing a gun to a fistfight’
Taylor — The lawyer for the woman accused of shooting her co-worker to death last month in a Burlington store told a judge Monday she shot in self-defense, but the judge ordered her to stand trial on first-degree murder and weapons charges.
Authorities allege Sandra Lynette Waller, 49, of Taylor fatally shot Lorraine Maylynn Faison, 49, of Allen Park on Oct. 16 at the store in Taylor. The day before, the women had argued about how to scan items for sale.
Defense attorney Daniel Reid said there was no premeditation and suggested that Waller fired to protect herself.
“There may have been self-defense on the part of Ms. Waller,” Reid told Judge Joseph Slaven of 23rd District Court. “(They) got into an argument. “There is enough evidence to show that my client possibly acted in a manner that was sufficient and reasonable under the ... circumstances.”
Reid said Waller had a license to carry the weapon.
Slaven said the fact Waller went to work with a gun the morning after an argument with Faison shows sufficient cause to bound her over on the first-degree murder charge.
“Basically, you’re bringing a gun to a fistfight,” said Slaven.
Nicole Good, a store manager, testified the argument Oct. 15 between the two women got so heated that she moved Waller to another part of the store to work, but that it angered Waller, who said the manager was making her look like “a (expletive).”
Good said she sent both women home for the day, and their pay was docked as a result.
The next day, Taylor police received a call around 7:05 a.m. from a woman identifying herself as Waller, saying she had shot her co-worker at the store.
When police arrived at the store shortly afterward, they found Faison’s body in a storage area of the store with a pair of scissors nearby. She was pale and had a gunshot wound in the chest. Faison was pronounced dead at a hospital.
Surveillance video played in court showed Waller, in an employee conference room, pulling a gun as a woman, identified as Faison, pushed the door open and shoved Waller. The shooting itself was not filmed because the video camera in the area where it occurred was not working that day.
When police arrived at the Burlington store, they found Waller with a .40 caliber handgun in her left waistband.
Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor LaDonna Logan said Waller’s actions demonstrated premeditation.
“The mere possibility of minor harm is not a reason to use deadly force,” said the prosecutor. “This in fact was deadly force. The fact that she came to work with a gun ... the fact that she’s using deadly force .. that’s evidence to show premeditation.”
Waller is due back in court Nov. 13 for an arraignment on information.