PA Bill Number: HB2977
Title: In firearms and other dangerous articles, providing for civil liability of firearm owner for loss or theft.
Description: In firearms and other dangerous articles, providing for civil liability of firearm owner for loss or theft. ...
Last Action Date: Nov 24, 2020
Man acquitted in Memphis attempted murder :: 08/06/2014
A 35-year-old Marine City man charged with attempted murder and assault for stabbing his girlfriend's father and the father's girlfriend in Memphis was acquitted by a Macomb County jury based on self-defense.
William G. Hightower was found not guilty of both charges as well as "lesser-included offenses" July 25 following a three-day trial in circuit court in Mount Clemens.
"He was ecstatic. I was ecstatic," said Hightower's attorney, Azhar Sheikh, pointing out his client had been jailed since his arrest an hour after the incident. "I was worried he would get convicted of something after the judge allowed the lesser includeds."
Each charge was accompanied by a lesser assault charge upon which the jury also could have convicted.
Attempted murder is punishable by up to life in prison while the assault charge, assault with intent to do great bodily harm, is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
Ashley Smith, 26, Hightower's live-in girlfriend and mother of his two children, was charged with felony resisting arrest against then-officer Scott Sheets but in a deal with prosecutors pleaded guilty to attempted resisting, a misdemeanor.
The trial featured a unique twist. It began the day after Memphis Police Chief Jessica Beels was fired from her post. She was the officer in charge of the case but was ordered to leave the courtroom by Judge Diane Druzinski, Sheikh said. The jury did not learn of the development. Sheets is now the police chief.