Murder suspect caught after 2-year manhunt
In the days after the fatal shooting of 21-year-old Kevin Simmons on the morning of May 16, 2016, the Ecorse Police Department quickly identified Jermaine Pritchett, then 20, as the suspect, and the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office charged him with first-degree premeditated murder and felony firearm.
Almost two years later, in a search that spanned a number of states, Pritchett was caught Sunday night in front of his mother's house, and is now remanded to Wayne County Jail as his case is decided.
Sgt. William McCaig of the Ecorse Police Department said the fatal shooting took place in the area of 7th and Hyacinthe, in broad daylight. The suspect and victim had fought, and then the suspect returned in a van, with a gun, McCaig said.
Simmons was able to push his brother out of harm's way, but was shot in the back of his head and died. Pritchett was identified as the suspect, but soon fled.
The U.S. Marshals conducted a "very extensive search" with "lots of surveillance" because of Pritchett's large family, said Deputy Marshal Robert Watson, in a manhunt that spanned "from Michigan to Tennessee."
"We are the long arm of the law," Watson said, adding that its fugitive recovery efforts allow local police agencies to continue patrolling roads and handling investigations rather than handle far-reaching searches.
The Marshals office in the eastern district of Michigan averages 2,500 to 2,600 arrests a year.
In the end, Watson said, a tip from a WXYZ-TV viewer, who'd seen Pritchett profiled, led to information that he may be at his mom's house.
Marshals surveilled the home and made the arrest.
In addition to being remanded at his arraignment Monday, Pritchett was ordered to have no contact with the victim's family. He is due back in court on March 20 for a probable cause conference before Judge David Zelenak at the 25th District Court, which handles cases for Ecorse, Lincoln Park and River Rouge.