1 of 3 pleads guilty in abduction trial

Sunday Times Newspapers

TAYLOR — A jury trial continues tomorrow for two of three men accused of abducting a 90-year-old man from a nursing home in July.

Darrell Howard, 50, Alfred Khattar, 54, and Ted Robert Tomes, Khattar’s 25-year-old son, were charged with four counts each related to unlawful imprisonment and vulnerable adult abuse. Deliberations began Monday before Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Carole F. Youngblood.

Prior to the trial’s start, Howard pleaded guilty on Monday, and will be sentenced Nov. 7. Unlawful imprisonment carries a possible sentence of 15 years in prison; vulnerable adult abuse is a four-year felony.

According to Taylor Police and Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Scott Ehlfeldt, on July 19 Khattar and Tomes picked up Floyd Pickrell for dinner from Regency Health Care, 12575 Telegraph. The two signed Pickrell out from the facility, and knew him as a customer at Khattar’s doughnut shop .

Although properly signed out from the nursing home, security cameras recorded the two men lifting Pickrell over a wall. Pickrell was missing for three days until a civilian tip directed police to Ypsilanti, where the elderly dementia patient was being kept in a hotel room.

Of the three defendants, Howard was first arrested on July 21, yet refused to tell police where Pickrell was. Khattar and Tomes were arrested on July 23.

Last week’s arguments and testimony alleged that Khattar and Tomes planned to kidnap Pickrell for money.

Defense attorneys — Mosabi Hamed for Khattar; Stephen J. Remski for Tomes — argued that the father and son were rescuing Pickrell, a request made of the two by the elderly man. At the start of the trial proceedings, Pickrell was questioned to determine his ability to testify on his own behalf. Youngblood rejected defense motions to allow Pickrell’s testimony.

The prosecutor’s office expected the trial to conclude this week.

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