Man faces jury trial for sister’s murder

By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers

LINCOLN PARK — Barring any new motions from defense counsel or prosecutors, a Lincoln Park man will face a December jury, accused of first-degree murder in the slaying of his sister.

Gerald Eugene Dennis Jr., 43, was found competent to stand trial and participate in his defense after an evaluation ordered by Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Edward Ewell. A final conference will be held Thursday before a scheduled trial start on Dec. 17.

Dennis was arraigned on first-degree murder charges shortly after the Feb. 28 death of his sister, Deborah Siefert, with whom he was living. Previously Dennis underwent competency evaluations ordered through 25th District Court.

Investigators said that Dennis suffered a history of mental illness and drug abuse. Prosecutors charged that Dennis beat his sister to death with a jack handle at her house in the 1500 block of College Avenue.

Police were called to the house about 6:40 a.m. by a neighbor who found Siefert unresponsive and bleeding. Siefert was transported to Oakwood Hospital and Medical Center and pronounced dead shortly after 7 a.m.

After the attack Dennis closed the bedroom door and fell asleep, according to police reports.

Officers located Dennis and took him into custody. Dennis told investigators that his sister had been abusive, and that he “had enough.”

Dennis remained in custody without bond pending the trial.

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