Detroit-area man held for trial in deaths of 4 suspected escorts
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.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Ohio dairy farmers cashing in on gas well boom
- Under pressure, Hagel steps down as Pentagon chief
- Vatican prosecutor did not report abusive Catholic priest
- Boy with fake gun shot by officer dies
- Tension, anxiety mount in Ferguson as grand jury ruling awaited
- Florida man who ambushed police held anti-government beliefs
- Nevada speaker-elect steps down amid criticism
- Former Pa. state worker charged with stealing 610 helmets
- Graham rejects GOP Benghazi report as ‘garbage’
- Obama defends executive action on illegals
- Tufts center study: It costs $2.6B to get drug to market