USA

Detroit man faces charges for murder, carjacking allegedly committed after sentencing delayed

Detroit — An 18-year-old Detroit man faces a combined 22 felony charges in two separate cases, including an alleged carjacking in July and a fatal crash last week, court records show — all while he awaits sentencing after pleading guilty to three felonies in yet a different case.

Weeks after turning 18 in January, Zaire Vaughn was arrested for carrying a concealed weapon.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy charged him with three felonies in that case: carrying a concealed weapon, felony firearm and resisting/obstructing the police.

In February, Vaughn pleaded guilty to the three offenses, and on March 26 he was to be sentenced. But that sentencing never took place, said Kathy Murphy, Vaughn's defense attorney in the matter. It was adjourned due to the COVID-19 crisis and has not yet been rescheduled.

Wayne Circuit Judge Donald Knapp, who handled the case, could not immediately be reached Tuesday morning, as court was in session. 

Had there been a sentencing, the Michigan Department of Corrections would have been notified of its supervision duties, even if the person was on parole. But the state's Offender Tracking Information System, or OTIS, shows no profile for Vaughn.

Despite that, the guilty plea from the January case meant that when Vaughn faced gun charges in a July 11 incident, one of them was being a felon in possession of a weapon.

Vaughn is one of four people charged in the carjacking case, and faces 13 felonies: carjacking, felon in possession, seven counts of felony firearm, receiving and concealing a stolen vehicle, unlawful driving away, assault with a dangerous weapon, and carrying a weapon with unlawful intent. 

Magistrate Laura Echartea of Detroit's 36th District Court gave Vaughn an $85,000 bond at his arraignment Monday. If he does post bond, he can't smoke pot, drink alcohol, handle guns or contact the two victims in the case. Vaughn is due for a probable cause conference on Aug. 10 before Judge Kenneth King.

His attorney in that case, Ronnie Strong, was not immediately available to comment.

On Tuesday, Vaughn was arraigned on the latest case, a fatal crash Saturday in Detroit.

Worthy charged Vaughn with nine felonies in that case: second-degree murder, reckless driving causing death, operating with a suspended license causing death, first-degree fleeing and eluding the police, carrying a concealed weapon, and four counts of felony firearm.

36th District Magistrate Malaika Heath-Ramsey denied him bond, and he will remain jailed as that case proceeds, even if he were to post bond on the other matter. 

Vaughn i due in King's courtroom on Aug. 18 for a probable cause conference.

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