Detroit man tells ex-wife 'we're both going to die today,' faces charges

Ariana Taylor
The Detroit News

 A Detroit man faces a pretrial hearing March 6 on 14 counts after police say he kidnapped and threatened his ex-wife. 

Jerome Fahner, 51, broke into his ex-wife's home, according to Almont police Sgt. Laura Black, held her at gunpoint and tried to extort her for money. She eventually was able to escape. 

Fahner was arraigned Sunday in Lapeer County on charges that include kidnapping, armed robbery, home invasion, extortion, unlawful imprisonment, assault with a dangerous weapon and interfering with electronic communication. 

On Feb. 18, Fahner, who doesn't own a vehicle, arrived at his ex-wife's home in Almont. He hid in her shed overnight, police say.

The next day, police say, while his ex-wife was at work and her grandchildren who live with her were upstairs in their bedrooms, Fahner went into the house through an unlocked door. 

He took food from the pantry and refrigerator, grabbed a blanket and headed into the attic to stay another night, police said.

The grandchildren left for school around 6:45 a.m., and Fahner took action.

Fahner held a .38 revolver in his ex-wife's face, police say, and told her "we're both going to die today."

Fahner locked all the doors in the house and, according to authorities, threw his ex-wife's phone into a high cupboard in the kitchen. 

She attempted to run out of the house but Fahner grabbed her by the shirt, pulling her onto the table, police said. He demanded money and when she said she didn't have any, he held the gun to her head and forced her transfer $500 to his Cash App card.

After about two hours, police say Fahner told her they were going to the ATM. The ex-wife grabbed her jacket that had a spare vehicle key in the pocket, police said.

Fahner forced her to lie down in the second row of her van as he drove, and police said the ex-wife tried to get the attention of a truck driver. 

Fahner told her he would shoot her if she continued and drove the rest of the way with the rearview mirror facing her. 

Once they arrived at a bank on Eight Mile and Mound, Fahner got out of the car, the ex-wife told police. She jumped into the front seat, police said, and started the ignition with the spare key. Because she forgot to lock the doors, Fahner hopped into the passenger seat, officials said. 

Police said the ex-wife pulled on to Mound, blocking two lanes of traffic, and blared the car horn, thinking "if he shoots me, at least there will be witnesses."

Fahner hopped out the car, police say, and ran into an alley. The ex-wife also fled and went to a friend's house in Warren, where she called 911.

Detroit police assisted Almont police in the search for Fahner, pinging his cellphone near his mother's home in Detroit. Police took him into custody around 5 p.m. that day. 

Police say Fahner told them where he hid a gun and they recovered one in an alley. 

Police said Fahner and his ex-wife were married for 30 years and divorced for at least six years.