TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Detroit-area man held for trial in deaths of 4 suspected escorts

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Associated Press
Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013, 6:20 p.m.
 

STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. — A Detroit-area man charged with killing four suspected escorts has been ordered to stand trial.

James Brown is accused of killing the women in pairs on two days in 2011, and then abandoning the bodies in cars.

Judge Michael Maceroni decided Wednesday that there was enough evidence for a trial after hearing testimony about DNA, phone calls and incriminating statements.

Detroit detective Derryck Thomas testified that Brown admitted he was with the women in his basement when they died. Thomas says Brown told him that he fell asleep and found the women lifeless when he woke up.

Brown says he met the women through Backpage.com, which has personal ads.

The women were found in pairs in car trunks in Detroit, six days apart. Two of the victims were burned beyond recognition in a car that was set on fire. Doctors who performed autopsies believe all four died of asphyxiation.

Jennifer Jones, a Michigan State Police scientist, said Brown's DNA was under the fingernails of Renisha Landers and it can't be ruled out from evidence gathered from the nails of Demesha Hunt.

The blood of a third victim, Natasha Curtis, was discovered on a closet door in Brown's Sterling Heights home and likely was on a pillow, Jones testified.

Dr. Francisco Diaz, an assistant Wayne County medical examiner, performed autopsies on Landers and Hunt. He found no signs that would suggest a physical struggle such as broken nails or contusions.

He said someone could be asphyxiated without a struggle, especially if the attacker is larger. Brown is muscular, more than 6 feet tall and weighs more than 200 pounds.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Nation

  1. Instances of hacking may be up, but indictments against Chinese military impactful, experts say
  2. Calif. cities slash water use
  3. 7th victim bitten off Outer Banks
  4. Security for optic cables called lax
  5. Infantry veteran gets nod to lead Marines as top general
  6. Justice to investigate airlines over seat restrictions, ticket prices
  7. Dolphin leaps into boat, mom hurt
  8. Episcopalians vote to allow same-sex wedding ceremonies
  9. Obama: U.S. embassy in Havana marks ‘new chapter’ in Cuba ties
  10. Fires at black churches stir worst fears amid relative calm
  11. Official: Fire at South Carolina black church wasn’t arson