New trial ordered in elderly abduction case

By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers

TAYLOR — A hung jury resulted in a scheduled January retrial for two men accused of abducting a 90-year-old man from a nursing home.

Alfred Khattar, 54, and his son, Ted Robert Tomes, 25, faced charges of unlawful imprisonment and vulnerable adult abuse. Unlawful imprisonment carries a possible sentence of 15 years in prison.

According to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office, a week’s worth of testimony was presented before the jury declared Wednesday that they could not reach a unanimous verdict. Judge Carole F. Youngblood ordered a new trial to begin Jan. 24, 2012.

A third defendant, Darrell Howard, 50, pleaded guilty Oct. 17, prior to the start of the trial. Howard is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 7.

Khattar and Tomes allegedly picked up 90-year-old Floyd Pickrell at Regency Health Care, 12575 Telegraph, on July 19. Pickrell was an occasional customer at a nearby doughnut shop owned by Khattar. Security cameras recorded two men lifting Pickrell over a wall before he went missing for three days. A civilian tip directed police to an Ypsilanti hotel room, where the elderly dementia patient was being kept.

During the trial, prosecutors maintained that Khattar and Tomes planned to hold Pickrell for ransom. Defense attorneys insisted that the two were taking Pickrell from the facility at his request.

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

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