Suspects in high-profile Detroit crimes released - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Suspects in high-profile Detroit crimes released

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DETROIT (WJBK) - FOX 2 has learned suspects arrested in three recent high-profile Detroit cases were released due to mistakes made within the police department.

"The system of checks and balances to review that to ensure that person should be released were not in place at that time; they weren't followed appropriately," says Detroit Dep. Chief David Levalley.

The three cases include the dangerous police chase broadcast live on FOX 2 last week; the brutal beating of Steve Utash, the driver who stopped to help a boy he accidentally struck with his vehicle; and a man who opened fire on police officers while they were making a routine traffic stop.

In each case one suspect was arrested, went to jail but was then released.

The Wayne Co. Prosecutor's Office needed more done in the investigation before signing the warrant for charges against Bruce Wimbush, 17, and Demante Washington, 21. Wimbush is accused of taking part in the mob beating of Utash; Washington was arrested for shooting at police officers during the traffic stop.

A court officer sent over notice instead of holding them both for the full 72 hours while police finished the investigations. Both were released.

"There is an investigation being conducted to determine what the magnitude of the error is, if it's neglect or if it's just clerical," says Levalley.

Washington and Wimbush were both re-arrested the following day.

But 17-year-old Marielle Martin is still free after being released when investigators couldn't get a case together in time. A warrant was never even typed or sent to the prosecutor.  

FOX 2's Taryn Asher was told a non-custody warrant is being written to re-arrest Martin.
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