Naked outside MGM, St. Clair Shores man admits to killing
Shortly before the body of his girlfriend was discovered in a room at the MGM Grand Detroit with multiple stab wounds, Daniel Michalak was found nude outside the casino, saying he had killed her with his "bare hands," two security officers testified during a hearing Tuesday in 36th District Court.
Michalak, 33, of St. Clair Shores, was ordered to stand trial in connection with the May 29 death of Tia Vellucci, 27, of Davison.
Michalak was acting "abnormal" when he was found in a grassy area near Bagley and Third, two of the officers testified during a preliminary examination.
"He said, 'Call the police, I'm going to go to jail.' He said that he killed his girlfriend with his bare hands in Room 408," security officer Daniel Murphy testified before Judge William McConico.
Another casino security officer, Brandon Reed, said Michalak was incoherent and was "just moving around."
Reed said Michalak told him and two other security officers, "I did it. I killed my girlfriend. She's in Room 408."
Reed also testified that Michalak called himself "a sinner" and added: "We're all going to hell."
Vellucci was found with multiple stab wounds and the tip of her nose gone from her face. Investigators believe Michalak bit his girlfriend's nose off.
Vellucci suffered eight stab wounds to the back of the head and her neck and had drugs in her system, both of which could have contributed to her death, Assistant Wayne County Medical Examiner Dr. David Moons testified.
Of the drugs found in Vellucci's system, Ketamine is an anesthetic used for surgery that can cause hallucinations and delusional episodes, Moons testified. Mitragynine, also known as Kratom, is a stimulant and anesthetic.
Tia Vellucci's sister, Lauren, testified Tuesday that the couple had obtained drugs from a person on the 10th floor of MGM Grand Detroit hotel.
Detroit Police homicide investigator Aaron Coldwell, who was among the handful of witnesses who testified during the hearing, said besides Vellucci's body, police found a bloodied butter knife, drugs and $3,000 in cash in the room.
Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Carin Goldfarb asked the judge to bind over Michalak as charged with assault with intent to murder, assault with intent to maim and assault with intent to do great bodily harm. She said Michalak admitted his intent to murder his girlfriend when he told the MGM security officers he had killed his girlfriend with his bare hands in their hotel room.
Michalak's attorney, Kathy Murphy told McConico there was "no evidence of intent" to murder Vellucci, saying the assistant medical examiner testified that the young woman did not bleed to death.
Murphy asked that the charges be dismissed, a request McConico denied.
Michalak was referred for mental competency and criminal responsibility evaluation seven days after his girlfriend was found dead. Last month, he was found competent to stand trial.