Third trial ordered in elderly man’s abduction

By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers

TAYLOR — For the second time, a hung jury resulted in a new trial ordered for two men accused of abducting an elderly man from a nursing home.

Alfred Khattar and his son, Ted Robert Tomes, faced charges of unlawful imprisonment and vulnerable adult abuse for allegedly kidnapping 90-year-old Floyd Pickrell from Regency Health Care, 12575 Telegraph, in July 2011.

A third defendant, Darrell Howard, pleaded guilty in October, the same month a hung jury was unable to conclude the first trial for Khattar and Tomes with a verdict. Howard was sentenced to 2.5 to 15 years in prison for conspiracy to commit unlawful imprisonment and second degree vulnerable adult abuse.

After a second mistrial for Khattar and Tomes was declared last week, Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Carole Youngblood scheduled a third trial; a preliminary hearing is set for Friday.

Barring a final verdict, there is no restriction against the prosecution opting for a re-trial in the event of a hung jury or no decision. Maria Miller, spokeswoman for the Wayne County Prosecutor’s office, said that decision is made by the judge.

“We will be prepared and ready to try the case,” Miller said.

Allegedly, Khattar, Tomes and Howard took Pickrell away from the nursing home after knowing him as an occasional customer at Khattar’s doughnut shop. Security cameras recorded two men lifting Pickrell over a wall before he went missing for three days.

Police were notified by an anonymous tip that Pickrell, who suffers from dementia, was held in an Ypsilanti hotel room. Prosecutors maintained that Khattar and Tomes planned to hold Pickrell for ransom. Khattar and Tomes said they took the man from the home at his request.

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