Judge denies competency hearing for man accused of Bloomfield Hills murder

DeShawn Smith / Photo by Amy Lange
DeShawn Smith / Photo by Amy Lange

When a lawyer asked for a competency exam for a man charged with murdering a Bloomfield Hills woman, the judge and attorney got into a tense exchange with the judge demanding more information.

Desean Smith was charged with murdering Diana Pesserl in west Bloomfield in December. The 18-year-old man from Detroit is accused of shooting Pesserl in her own car in the driveway of her home and then moving the car behind the former Pine Lake Elementary School where it was found burning on December 9.

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On Friday, Smith's attorneys asked for a competency hearing to decide if he can stand trial for the murder. That's when things got heated.

"We don't just willy nilly send people to the forensics center. you need evidence," the judge told his attorneys.

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

Smith's defense argued that he's been in close communication with him and it's obvious to him that his attorney has mental health issues.

The judge denied the request.

The prosecutor admitted that witnesses had been canceled for Friday's hearing, even though the request was not granted.

Smith, and 19-year-old Jaylen Stringer of West Bloomfield, are accused in the murder of the 31-year-old and setting her car on fire.

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A neighbor who lives near the school testified that in the middle of the night on December 9th, he heard someone screaming and saw someone running from a car in the hear.

"I heard some long horn sound. that's unusual in my home because it's very quiet in my area, usually," Chonkue Yoon said.

The two teenagers could spend life in prison behind bars, if convicted of murder.


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