SHIAWASSEE County Prosecutor Deana Finnegan (standing) gives her closing argument July 1 before requesting District Court Judge Terrance Dignan bind over to Circuit Court Joshua Zachary James, 22, of Woodhull Township for trial.
James (seated center) was arrested in the shooting death of his grandfather, Marlin James, 82, at 7800 Braden Road, Haslett in Shiawassee County. Joshua “Zach” James was living at his grandfather’s home at the time of the murder.
Seated right is James’ defense attorney Matthew S. McKone of Flushing. Partially visible (seated left) is assisting defense attorney Scott J. Gould of Owosso.
“The evidence is overwhelming for probable cause,” Dignan said before he recapped the evidence presented at the hearing.
James was bound over on a $3 million cash/surety bond on Count One/Open Premeditated Murder and Count Two/Felony Firearm. Two other counts were waived for the probable cause hearing.
Circuit Court arraignment then took place in the District Courtroom. A Pre-trial conference in Circuit Court is scheduled for 8 a.m. July 10.
Joshua L. James, the father of “Zach” James was called to the stand by Finnegan to recount what happened when he met his older brother, Steve James of Haslett, at their father’s house and finding the body of their father in the garage.
Emergency services were notified including the MSP Detective Bureau, Flint. D/Sgt. Brad Ross was the first on the scene and led the investigation assisted by D/Sgt. Joe VanderMeulen assisting. MSP Detective Sergeant Medical Examiner Investigator Mark Pendergraff was also called to the scene as was MSP Sgt. Jeff Amley a forensic specialist who led the crime scene investigation.
Amley described how he recovered evidence including a 30/30 lever-action rifle that was later determined to be the murder weapon.
Defense Attorney Matthew S. McKone was assisted by attorney Scott J. Gould of Owosso in Zach’s defense. A not guilty plea was entered. McKone questioned investigators whether heroin usage could have contributed to the shooting.
If James is found guilty, the premeditated murder charge carries with it a sentence of life in prison without possibility of parole. (Independent Photo/HELEN A. GRANGER)