18-year-old Desean Smith charged with West Bloomfield woman's murder

- Desean Lamar Smith has been charged in the murder of a West Bloomfield woman found in a burned out car Friday.

Smith, an 18-year-old Detroit man, was in 48th District Court Monday charged with open murder, arson and felony firearm for the death of Diana Pesserl. Pesserl, 31, was found inside a burning car behind the former Pine Lake Elementary School off Long Lake Road in West Bloomfield.

Police say Pesserl was sitting in her driveway listening to music, as she usually did, for hours on end before being shot and her car burned.

Investigators say that Smith was visiting a friend who lived nearby when he went outside to smoke a cigarette and had some sort of encounter with Pesserl. It was then, they say he shot her in the abdomen, then set her car on fire behind the school.

Police say that when he returned to his friend's home, he told his friend what happened.

"Smith left the residence for an unknown reason," said Det. Derek Kase, West Bloomfield police. "Smith returned one hour and a half later, and showed Stringer the butt of the firearm in his waist band. He stated 'The (expletive) tried to grab my gun so I had to shoot her.' Stringer directed detectives to heating vents in the family room and Stringer's bedroom where detectives later found a .38 caliber pistol and 10 rounds of ammunition."

Smith told the court today that he does not believe he was a flight risk because he did not do anything wrong. He told police he had gone for a walk to smoke a cigarette, that he had gotten lost while out for his walk. He said he merely got a cigarette from this woman, and that he had nothing to do with her murder.

"I'm not an escape risk," Smith said. "I am going to come to court. I don't have any problems. I'm not going to run because I feel I didn't do anything wrong."

He was denied bond and police say it is highly possible that the second young man will not be charged.

Smith had been held on a carjacking warrant out of Detroit.
 


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