Detroit Police Homicide

Detroit Police Homicide Sgt. Michael Martell and Officer Kelly Mullins testified they questioned Vincent Smothers in three of the killings he allegedly committed. Both officers stated Smothers spoke freely, was cooperative, highly intelligent, and knew he was confessing to the killings.

Officer Kelly Knox

For reasons she still doesn’t understand, Officer Kelly Knox was sitting in her office one day when the phone rang and an anonymous voice gave her a name, Vincent Smothers. Officer Knox had handled the Gravier Street shootings case, and she was seriously surprised to catch this break after nearly a year of silence on the streets. Smothers’ accomplice, Lakari Berry, 27, was arrested shortly after the shootout and is serving life in prison with no chance of parole for the killings. Smothers confessed to police that he was the other shooter.

, Sgt. Michael E. Russell, Sr.

Detroit Police homicide Sgt. Michael Russell, who investigated the Runyon Street killings, said he is certain Sanford was involved in the slayings though he has provided no solid evidence to support that assertion. He said Sanford gave details, including a drawing of where the victims’ bodies were found. But what Sgt. Russell didn’t share in court is the fact that he showed Davontae a video of the crime scene before asking Davontae to draw it. Obviously, Davontae drew what he saw in the video.

, Sgt. Gerald Williams

DETROIT (AP) — A Detroit teenager trying to erase his guilty plea in four killings may get a lift from the testimony of a police officer who talked to a self-described hit man about the case.

Sgt. Gerald Williams testified Thursday in Wayne County court. He says Vincent Smothers told him authorities had the “wrong guy” in four fatal shootings in a Detroit drug den.

Davontae Sanford was 15 when he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in 2008. A judge is holding hearings on whether the 17-year-old may withdraw the plea.

Sanford’s lawyer says he took responsibility for the Runyon Street killings to please adults.

Smothers is awaiting trial in eight homicides. Police say he confessed to the Runyon killings in 2008 but hasn’t been charged.


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