Lawyer denied motion to withdraw from serial rape case

By TEREASA NIMS
Sunday Times Newspapers

ALLEN PARK – The attorney for an alleged serial rapist recently was denied a motion to withdraw from the case.

Ikeie Ranordo Smith’s court-appointed attorney, Wyatt G. Harris, recently asked a Wayne County Circuit Court judge to withdraw from the case. Harris would not elaborate on his reasons.

Judge Cynthia Gray Hathaway reportedly denied Harris’ request because court officials are preparing for Smith’s trial.

“We are in the middle of trial and picking a jury,” Harris said as to why he believes his request was denied.

Smith’s hearing is expected to begin April 24. He is charged with multiple rapes and home invasions in up to 35 cities — include Allen Park, Dearborn Heights, Dearborn, and Inkster all the way north to Midland — dating back five years.

Multi-jurisdictional officers, which include Michigan State Police along with the FBI, arrested Smith in September.

Smith, 32, of Redford Township, turned down a plea deal on Feb. 3, that would have offered the 32-year-old Redford township man between 35 and 75 years in prison in exchange for a guilty plea to first-degree criminal sexual conduct. More than a month later, his attorney sought to withdraw.

While the deal may have given Smith a chance to see freedom again, if convicted that isn’t probable. If convicted of the multiple charges, Smith could face more than 100 years in prison.

Allen Park Police Chief James Wilkewicz said the suspect is wanted in connection with a 2011 and 2015 rape case on Anne Street and is happy he is off the street right now.

“Eventually through DNA we did tie him to seven sexual assaults of women in their homes throughout the area, including the one on Anne Street here in Allen Park,” Wilkewicz said.

Wilkewicz said the case break came when a Livonia woman noticed a gate ajar in her yard and later checked her surveillance system. The chief said the video showed a man lurking outside of her house. Crime Stoppers broadcasted the information and authorities received a tip about the suspect.

If convicted, Wilkewicz said he does not believe the suspect will see freedom again.

(Tereasa Nims can be reached at dstreporter@gmail.com.)