Thursday, May 14, 2020

Horrific Murder and Felony Firearm in Flint, Michigan: Three Family Members Charged

Raymonyear Trayvon Bishop and Larry Edward Teague

Image from Genessee County Prosecutor Office

On Friday, 1 May, 2020, at about 2 p.m., Calvin Munerlyn, 43, a security guard at a Dollar Store in Flint, Michigan, was shot and killed. 20 minutes earlier, at about 1:40, he had confronted a woman, Sharmel Lashe and her daughter,  and ordered her daughter to wear a mask in the store, as required by Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. Stores are allowed to refuse service to customers if they are not wearing a mask.  The daughter left, but Sharmel got into an altercation with Calvin Munerlyn. Sharmel is reported as spitting on Munerlyn, then leaving in a red GMC Envoy.

Detroit News reports the event is recorded on surveillance video.

20 minutes later, security cameras showed Sharmel's husband, Larry Edward Teague, 44, and her son, Ramonyear Travon Bishop, 23 arriving at the store in what appears to be the same vehicle. They confronted Munerlyn. The video is reported to show Bishop shooting Munerlyn, who was shot in the back of the head, and killed.

Genesse Count Prosecutor David Leyton has filed charges against the three suspects.

Sharmel Lashe has been arrested on a first degree murder charge and a firearms felony charge.

Her son, Ramonyer Travon Bishop, and her husband, Larry Edward Teague, are being sought. They have been charged with first degree murder charges, felony firearms charges, and carrying a concealed weapon charges.

Larry Edward Teague is additionally charged with possession of a firearm as a convicted felon, a felony, an additional felony firearms charge, and violating the Governor's order, a misdemeanor.

Michigan's felony firearm law is somewhat unusual. It carries a mandatory minimum sentence of two years in prison for a conviction of possession of a firearm in the commission or attempted commission of a felony, any felony. The mandatory prison term is extended to five years for a second conviction, and ten for a third conviction. from legislature.mi.gov:
 750.227b Carrying or possessing firearm when committing or attempting to commit felony; carrying or possessing pneumatic gun; exception; “law enforcement officer” defined.

Sec. 227b.


  (1) A person who carries or has in his or her possession a firearm when he or she commits or attempts to commit a felony, except a violation of section 223, 227, 227a, or 230, is guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment for 2 years. Upon a second conviction under this subsection, the person shall be punished by imprisonment for 5 years. Upon a third or subsequent conviction under this subsection, the person shall be punished by imprisonment for 10 years.
Prosecutors routinely overcharge in order to have material to plea bargain with. It does not seem necessary in this horrendous crime, captured on video; but I am not the prosecutor in this case, nor am I a lawyer.

This was a nasty, unnecessary murder. No testimony has been released as to what was said between Sharmel, Ramonyer, and Larry Edward Teague. 

So far, only one firearm is mentioned in this case. As a juror, I would want to know if two people could simultaneously be convicted with possessing a concealed weapon, and if a person some distance away from the crime scene could also be convicted of possessing the same weapon. It would depend on Michigan statutes, case law, and precedent.

Perhaps there is video of one man passing the firearm to the other; it is not said. Notice how the charge stacks. The first charge is a mandatory two years in prison. The second firearm felony is a mandatory five years in prison. In the case of Larry Edward Teague, that is seven mandatory years in prison before the concealed carry and first degree murder charges, and felon in possession of a firearm sentences start.

The first question a good lawyer might ask Larry Edward Teague:  Did he know his stepson had a pistol in his possession?

AP reporters Corey Williams and Mike Householder worked hard to tie the murder to peaceful protests by Second Amendment supporters at the Michigan legislature. From apnews.com:
On Thursday, gun-carrying protesters and other demonstrators rallied inside the state Capitol, calling for coronavirus-related restrictions to be lifted. Some protesters with guns — which are allowed in the statehouse — went to the Senate gallery. Some senators wore bulletproof vests.
There is no evidence the murder had any political motivations, yet David Leyton, the Democrat prosecting attorney for Genesee County, Michigan, attempted to tie the crime to politics.
“The hostile tone that we have seen in recent days on television and in social media can permeate our society in ways we sometimes don’t fully realize or anticipate,” Leyton told reporters Monday. “Decisions like staying home when we can, wearing a mask when going to the store and staying a safe distance from those around us — these should not be political arguments. They don’t necessitate acts of defiance, and we simply cannot devolve into an us versus them mentality.”
Leyton says wearing a mask should not be political, implying the murder was politically motivated, when there was no evidence of political motivation.

A person has to twist their logic in pretzel shapes to smear peaceful protestors with an irrational murder.

It has become fashionable to have enhanced sentences for possession of a firearm in the course of a crime.

There are downsides to that policy. It singles out firearms for demonization; it increases the legal liability of firearms ownership; it conveys the message that, somehow, firearms are intrinsically "bad".

As surveillance cameras become evermore common, it becomes more and more difficult for criminals to avoid being convicted for serious crimes.

This may be one reason the crime rate has been on a downward trend, overall, over the last two decades.

©2020 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dean: In most states any one involved in the commission of a felony can be charged with all crimes committed during the commission of the felony. example Bank robbery get away car driver never enters the bank. Bank security officer killed during the robbery. get away car driver never touched the gun, never went inside the bank gets charged with all of the crimes including the murder of the security guard.