Mistrial declared in parking lot shooting

Sunday Times Newspapers

LINCOLN PARK — After a hung jury failed to reach a verdict, a mistrial was declared in the shooting death of Adrian Deshaun Bell. Wayne County Third Judicial Circuit Court Judge James Callahan ordered last week a new hearing and trial to begin next month.

The first witness taking the stand Monday summed up the fact at hand: “Somebody got shot.” On April 24 in a Fort Street parking lot. Adrian Deshaun Bell was shot three times and died soon after at Oakwood Hospital & Medical Center in Dearborn.

The question is if Shannon Maurice Henderson, 34, pulled the trigger. Henderson was charged with first-degree murder, a felony carrying mandatory life imprisonment. Henderson is also charged with felony use of a firearm, a felon in possession of a firearm and as a fourth-time habitual offender.

The facts, summarized during opening statements by Assistant Prosecutor Raj Prasad, are that Bell died after being shot at approximately 12:42 a.m. Sunday, April 24, in a parking lot adjacent to White Castle, 2115 Fort Street. Bell took three gunshot wounds, two in the chest, and collapsed in the restaurant.

“The events that lead to Bell’s death started several hours before, Prasad, who during three days of testimony outlined a long day of drinking, confrontations and threats between the suspect and the victim, said.

“Heated words were exchanged, and threats were made,” Prasad said. Defense attorney Arlene F. Woods confirmed the facts, and presented a separate take on the events.

“Bell was the aggressor,” Woods said of the events leading up to his death. “Bell was drinking heavily that day, had another altercation that day.”

Woods said that the victim was well known in the neighborhood: “He was a violent person.”

Both Henderson and Bell spent much of Saturday drinking, and encountered one another at a market on Ecorse Road shortly before Bell’s death. Security cameras recorded the two having a confrontation in the store.

Bell’s girlfriend, Dereka Moss, testified that she heard Henderson threaten Bell in the store, and that soon after the encounter she and Bell saw Henderson’s car cruising past their home.

The car, a powder-blue El Camino with custom rims, was registered to Henderson’s girlfriend, but he was often identified as its primary driver, according to local police. Officer Dasumal Mitchell of the River Rouge Police testified that he knew Henderson — who went by the nickname “The Shiek” — and saw him driving it that afternoon. The next day, Mitchell saw a “be on the lookout” notice for the El Camino issued by Lincoln Park Police, and shared that information with investigating officers.

Mitchell and Ecorse police responded to the Ecorse market confrontation between Henderson and Bell, both of whom were sent on their way after the incident.

Other witnesses described the scene near the White Castle, spoke of hearing gunshots and of seeing the El Camino leave the scene. There were no eyewitnesses to the shooting itself. Jury selection for a new trial begins Nov. 7.

(James Mitchell can be reached at jmitchell@bewickpublications.com.)