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December 13, 2013 Ann Arbor Michigan (WXYZ-Detroit) — University of Michigan student Paul DeWolf’s room may have been targeted in a break-in because a rolled up towel meant to keep in cool air from an air conditioner was mistaken as a sign someone was smoking marijuana in his room, testimony at a probable cause hearing Friday suggested.
A PlayStation 3 eventually sold for $80 was the only thing taken from his fraternity house the night DeWolf was shot to death in his room.
More than a dozen witnesses called by the prosecution provided these and other details about the case at a district court hearing where it was determined there was enough evidence to send two South Carolina men to trial for homicide.
Shaquille Jones, 21, of North Charleston, S.C., and Joei Jordan, 20, of Sumter, S.C., were both bound over to circuit court on single counts of open murder and three counts of home invasion each.
The men, both dressed in orange jail jumpsuits, at times appeared at ease and sometimes even jovial during court proceedings, sharing laughs and smiles with each other and their lawyers. At other times, Jordan shook his head, sometimes resting it on the defense table.
After a particularly heated exchange between Jordan’s attorney, David I. Goldstein, and 40-year-old Ypsilanti man Michael Robertson, Jordan and Goldstein beamed while speaking to one another.
Roberston testified he helped set up the sale of a PlayStation 3 at his Ypsilanti home, where he was made aware that Jordan and Jones had acquired the video game console while they “hit a lick,” slang for a larceny, where something went terribly wrong. The video game system was linked to DeWolf’s Phi Ro Sigma fraternity by a serial number.
More than a dozen people testified over a span of more than six hours before Judge Joseph F. Burke in downtown Ann Arbor’s 15th District Court, less than a mile from 220 N. Ingalls St. where DeWolf was found shot to death in his basement apartment July 24.
Those who testified included police detectives, the medical examiner, DeWolf’s colleagues and friends and those who were involved with the selling and buying of a computer and video game system the suspects are accused of stealing the night of the homicide.
Assistant Washtenaw County Prosecutor Blaine Longsworth also played taped interviews with both Jones and Jordan during which they confessed about what happened the night of July 23 when they broke into two houses and Jordan’s cousin, Dajeon Franklin, 21, of Pittsfield Township, accidentally shot and killed DeWolf.
“None of this was intentional,” Jordan told Ann Arbor police Detective William Stanford during an interview taped in South Carolina.
Both Jordan and Jones said it was pitch black in DeWolf’s room when they entered the room, catching DeWolf off guard. Franklin went to hit DeWolf with the gun when the medical student seemed to grab at something, the suspects said, and the gun went off.
The bullet struck DeWolf near his clavicle and exited out his back, said Jeffrey Jentzen, Washtenaw County Medical Examiner.
DeWolf was found in a pool of blood by Ashley Stasiak, a colleague at the veterans hospital who came looking for him when he didn’t show up to work.
“The pool of blood was as big as he was,” she said.
Robertson also testified that Jordan and Jones told him there was “a tussle” during the break-in at DeWolf’s fraternity and that he was under the impression Franklin shot and killed DeWolf.
Police tracked down the suspects through the various objects Jones, Jordan and Franklin are alleged to have stolen that night: a wallet, a PlayStation and an Apple Air MacBook laptop. Prosecutors called individuals who were involved in the buying and selling of the stolen merchandise.
“It’s amazing … that they were recovered,” Burke said, adding that having matching serial numbers is particularly singular.
Burke ultimately found that there was enough evidence to send the two cases up to circuit court for trial.
“It is not … a tough call,” Burke said.
Jones and Jordan remain at the Washtenaw County Jail with no bond. Franklin has yet to be charged.
DeWolf’s family declined to comment after the hearing.
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