A local college student was charged with Assault by Strangulation after an altercation that took place in his dorm room. DeMario McMurray, a freshman at Wayne State University, faces up to 10 years in prison because of the charges. Mr. McMurray, who may have been targeted because of his homosexuality, is now represented by the criminal defense firm of Nessel and Kessel Law.
What is undisputed is that the week before the incident in question Mr. McMurray had been assaulted by a number of other students. After the assault, Mr. McMurray called the police and made a report. Several days after making the report Mr. McMurray was confronted by the complaining witness in this case. The complainant showed up, unannounced, at Mr. McMurray’s dorm room and an altercation ensued.
At the preliminary exam, held in the 36th District Court, the complaining witness faced a vigorous cross examination by Chris Kessel, one of the criminal defense attorneys representing Mr. McMurray. She testified that she wanted to confront Mr. McMurray about his police report, which involved a friend of hers. She testified that she heard Mr. McMurray on the phone with the police when she began banging on his door. The witness claims that she was let into the room, only to have Mr. McMurray begin strangling her for no apparent reason. When Mr. Kessel began to press her for details, she was unable to describe several key pieces of information surrounding the event. At one point, clearly frustrated, the witness actually cursed at Mr. Kessel.
A police officer was also called to testify at the exam. Upon being questioned by Dana Nessel, the officer was forced to admit that no investigation was done into the actions of the complaining witness; who is appears committed multiple felonies herself (those being home invasion, breaking and entering, and interfering with the filing of a police report). It seemed that despite the witness’s actions, the police and the university determined that only Mr. McMurray was to blame.
As a result of the incident Mr. McMurray was expelled from Wayne State University. No action was taken with respect to the complaining witness…until the story reached the media, at which time the complaining witness was suspended.
Despite the inconsistencies in the complainant’s story, the case was bound over for trial.