Barricaded gunman awaits hearing

By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers

LINCOLN PARK — Determination of final charges against a man who kept police and SWAT teams at bay for most of a day will await the findings of a preliminary exam.

John Joseph Christner, 40, is scheduled for a hearing before 25th District Court Judge David Zelenak 9 a.m. Nov. 13.

Christner was arraigned last month on nine felony counts after allegedly barricading himself and his wife in their house in the 1500 block of Cleophus.

Court officials said last week that previously scheduled preliminary exams were adjourned, agreed to by both prosecutors and defense attorneys.

The standoff began about 3 a.m. Sept. 30, according to police reports. Officers responded to reports of a domestic situation which included allegations that Christner assaulted his wife and son.

When police first arrived on the scene, Christner was outside and armed with a long gun. He retreated to inside the house and local police were joined by the Downriver Special Weapons and Tactics Team.

Throughout the day several shots were fired at police before Christner surrendered at 10:30 p.m.

At last month’s arraignment Christner was charged with three felony counts of assault with intent to commit murder, four counts of felonious assault, one count of carrying a dangerous weapon with unlawful intent, felony firearm and aggravated domestic assault.

If convicted of assault with intent to commit murder, Christner faces a possible life sentence. Christner remained in custody on $1 million bond.

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