Customers can't get boats out of storage with owner in jail for murder

Image 1 of 3

The owner of a Detroit Boat Yard was recently sentenced to life in prison for shooting two men assigned to repossess his business last fall.
One of those men died. It happened last fall but now that it's spring -- people want to get their boats out of that yard and in the water, but they can't.

Some of the boats have been here since October, others longer. Once they learned the guy who ran the place was facing a murder charge, many said I need to get my boat out.

But they got here and saw they were locked out.

"Thirty-seven-foot Trojan that's mine, 27-foot Sea Ray, that's mine," said Russell Daniel. "Then I've got a 32-foot Bay Liner on the other side and then I got a 35-foot Chris-Craft, another yacht. 

And Daniel cannot get to a single one of them. He's just one of several boat owners left out to dry as he's trying to get on the water. The vessels are locked up at Custom Enterprises boat yard in Detroit.

The former owner, is also locked up.

"Since the whole trial, everybody heard about what was going on he was kind of missing in action after everybody got their boats here for the winter," said Robert White.

David Unger the former owner was sentenced to life in prison back in march for killing a man and shooting another victim at the boatyard. They were there to appraise and secure the property after it came under court control for debts that were owed.

These guys also want what's theirs.

"A lot of people been trying to get their boats here, I know a lot of people trying to get their boats out," said White.

The property has since changed hands and Robert white says he's been in contact with the new owners. 

"What they're going to do is once they get the court case over with, they're trying to get the old company evicted in order to get the boaters to come in and obtain their vessels," White said.

But it's unclear how soon that could happen. FOX 2 reached out to Duerf Investments, the company that now owns the boat yard, but the owners refused to comment. 

I'm told the Duerf Investments is not charging people for having their boats here. That will save them some money-many are concerned their boats were not winterized after they were dry docked here. And if that's the case they're in store for some pricey repairs.