The guy accused of killing former Michigan soccer player Richard Jekel is expected to face charges of open firearms and firearm offenses, the Kent County Circuit Court said on Friday, August 5, 2022.
The defendant, Devon Tashawn Matthews, 26, appeared before District Judge Jennifer Faber for a preliminary hearing on Friday, according to the Grand Rapids Police Department.
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During the four-hour preliminary hearing, Faber allegedly determined there was sufficient evidence connecting Matthews to the crime and referred the case to the district court for further review.
A closer look at the Richard Jekel murder case
According to police investigations, Richard Jekel was found dead on June 6, shot just below his left eye while lying in the back seat of the vehicle. Officers spotted him in his own car covered with a plastic tablecloth.
When police were called to make an arrest shortly thereafter, they found Matthews outside the home of the person he had been chasing with a revolver. Authorities said in court that the bullet found on Jekel’s body came from the same gun that Matthews tried to throw away.
Richard Jekel died around 10:00 a.m., and based on information from his artificial pacemaker, medics concluded his cause of death was a gunshot wound.
Richard Jekel’s shooter faced him and, according to Dr. Stephen Cohle, an expert in forensic pathology, due to the wound’s location nearby.
Richard Jekel’s daughter Melissa reportedly spoke out about her father’s death, claiming there was no apparent motive for it:
“They have been unable to connect my father to Devon in any way. It was only by chance that the time and place were wrong. He tried to get close to his stalking target. He killed my father at random. Because she was the target of his stalking, he would have killed her and left her child without a parent. In other words, even if it stinks, I don’t want to get bitter. Devon Matthews is also charged with aggravated stalking.
Police kept an eye on Matthews June 6 after a woman living on the 1900 block of Jefferson Avenue SE reported aggravated stalking.
The story claims that because Matthews was “GPS tethered,” authorities had no trouble figuring out where he was.
The location of Richard Jekel’s vehicle, as seen on nearby surveillance cameras at the moment his heart stopped, was fairly close, according to GPS data that put it near Burton Street and Jefferson Avenue the spot where Matthews was walking.
Mathews reportedly noticed police following him and made the decision to flee the car. Shortly after, authorities found his Ruger.380 pistol hidden under a roll of toilet paper when they arrested him in a public restroom at The Salvation Army’s Kroc Center.
According to Kent County Assistant Prosecutor Monica Janiskee, detectives examined the handgun and linked it to the cartridge case that was found after officers moved Jekel’s body. She remarked:
“We are aware that when they removed Mr. Jekel from the car, they discovered a shell casing. We are aware that the spent bullet was also found under Mr Jekel’s body and that the police were able to locate the perpetrator’s gun when pursuing him.
After that, Matthews’ bail was increased to $50,000 at the second aggravated stalking lawsuit hearing. He will now appear in court again in the following week.