3 teens charged with robbery, murder in Dearborn slaying
Dearborn — Three teens were charged Friday with armed robbery and felony murder in connection with three muggings, one of which left a 29-year-old woman dead outside a family home.
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy has charged Jamel Marquise Philson, 17, of Highland Park and Demaurio Dismuke, 14, of Detroit as adults, and a judge will decide whether a 13-year-old male, if convicted, will serve an adult or juvenile sentence.
The older two were arraigned together Friday by Judge Mark W. Somers in 19th District Court in Dearborn. They were remanded to jail and will return to court Sept. 20.
The 13-year-old was arraigned Friday before Wayne County Juvenile Referee Leslie Graves.
The trio are accused in the death of Saja Aljanabi, 29, and other attempted robberies on Dearborn's east side on Sept. 6.
Philson is charged with two counts of armed robbery and felony murder with the underlying crime of larceny. Dismuke is charged with felony murder, assault with intent to murder, two counts of armed robbery and three counts of felony firearm.
Saja Aljanabi's siblings sat in black in the front row of the courtroom for the pair's arraignment. The eldest brother, Omar Aljanabi, couldn't be seated. He looked at Philson and Dismuke and cursed at them. His brother, Ali, quickly covered his brother's mouth and officers forced Omar out of the courtroom. The family apologized for Omar's outburst, but he will not be allowed in further hearings.
"I couldn't even imagine their faces, how they looked at her ... I was speechless," Ali Aljanabi said after the arraignment. "I never want them to see the sunlight again. These two were the last people to see my sister alive."
The 13-year-old also is charged with felony murder with an underlying crime of larceny, two counts of armed robbery and felony firearm.
At his arraignment Friday, the young teen told the court referee that he is in the sixth grade and attends Melvindale Academy for Business & Technology.
Graves told him, “You will be tried in the same manner as an adult.” He was denied bond as requested by the prosecutor, who cited the “serious nature “ of the charges against him.
The 13-year-old tested positive for marijuana when arrested. According to the proceedings, he has been in counseling and therapy since he was 8. The teen, who wore a black sweatshirt and tan pants, was on probation for a retail fraud offense when he was charged with the Dearborn crime.
The teen sat emotionless and answered “yes” that he understood the proceedings.
He was scheduled for a Sept. 24 preliminary examination in the Lincoln Hall of Justice before Judge Edward Joseph.
His mom and stepdad appeared in court with him.
The first armed robbery occurred in the 7000 block of Steadman, where a 49-year-old woman's purse was stolen at 9:35 p.m. Sept. 6. The woman told investigators the 13-year-old was armed with a handgun. The suspects fled on foot, and the victim immediately called the police, according to prosecutors.
Nearby in the 7840 block of Bingham, at 9:52 p.m., Aljanabi was found by family near her car on the ground with a gunshot wound after she had also been robbed of her purse. She died on the way to Henry Ford Hospital.
Minutes later, in the 7800 block of Bingham, a 56-year-old Dearborn male was fired at as suspects were fleeing the scene.
The teenagers and two others were arrested by Dearborn police with the help of Detroit and federal partners, Dearborn police Chief Ron Haddad said.
“There were five total taken into custody on this, two during a traffic stop ... but only three were related to this case,” Haddad said at a press conference Thursday. “This was a random act of violence. It wouldn’t have mattered who the subjects encountered.”
Ali Aljanabi was texting Saja when he heard a “crack.” His brother burst into his room to report Saja had been shot. Aljanabi said he made it two or three steps outside toward the 2014 Buick Regal she had been driving before finding his sister’s body.
Aljanabi was laid to rest Monday at Maple Grove Cemetery in Westland.
Aljanabi’s younger brother thanked investigators for their dedication in making the arrests.
“It is what it is, but hopefully they will be in jail soon and we can find justice for my sister,” Ali Aljanabi said Thursday.
The 14-year-old defendant previously got into trouble for shoplifting, beating his mother and lighting a girl’s hair on fire in school, according to juvenile records reviewed by The Detroit News.
Dismuke was charged with retail fraud and resisting and obstructing police this spring after he stuffed $53 worth of underwear in his pockets and tried to steal them from a Dearborn Walmart.
On March 7, Dismuke and a 13-year-old were captured on a closed-circuit television taking the merchandise and attempting to leave the store without paying, according to a complaint filed with Wayne County’s juvenile court.
Juvenile records show that the 14-year-old turned himself in for a hearing in August after missing a court date. He’d been on probation and monitored with a tether.
Haddad said the GPS tether did not help locate the 14-year-old after last week’s incident, but aided in his arrest.
Haddad said unsolved crimes throughout the region will be revisited in light of the three arrests.