TAYLOR, Mich. (WJBK) - A murder case reaches a standstill in Taylor, for two brothers accused of killing and mutilating a River Rouge father.
The grieving mother of Michael Stratford brings his ashes into court, seeing in person for the first time, two brothers accused of shooting and mutilating him, then dumping his body in an Ypsilanti field last month.
"A 6 foot,180 pound man is in this box," said Carrie Bommarito. "Michael was a single father of a 3 and a half year-old little girl. At the funeral when it was time to close the doors and leave, she ran to the doors and grabbed onto them, screaming and crying and said I'm not leaving my daddy alone in there. He's an angel."
The accused are 36-year-old Wesley Brown and his 41-year old brother Adam Brown. Entering into court with harsh stares from those they used to associate with. Both have entered a plea of not guilty.
For more than a month, Carrie Bommarito has struggled to understand why her son was killed, hoping to learn more in court.
"Mr. (Wesley) Brown has a history of mental ilness," said the defense attorney in court.
Now the case has come to a standstill. Wesley Brown will undergo a mental competency exam, while Adam Brown waived his right to the exam.
The preliminary exam shorter than expected. Five witnesses were on hand and ready to testify against the brothers, among them, family members of the defendant.
"I kind of feel sorry for his family," Bommarito said. "I heard his family was here and willing to testify against their son. I haven't felt sorry for them until today."
Although it may be sometime now until we hear that testimony.
"If it's 30 60 90 days, a year, however long it takes before he's competent to stand trial, I'm gonna be here," she said.
A campaign called "justice for my Daddy" asks that anyone with tips that could help make a stronger case call River Rouge Police.
"There's still people out there that know things," she said.