Friend of the Court claims man fathered child with woman he's never met • Child's $1,000 Grubhub order

A Metro Detroit man has levied some strong accusations against Friend of the Court after they claim he's the father of a child. The problem is, he's happily married and says he's never met the mother.

DeAngelo Smith said he got a phone call in late December from his wife who said they needed to talk. She had just checked the mail and found something that really stood out.

"Typically I don’t open up my husband’s mail, but this particular piece of mail said FRIEND OF THE COURT. So, I said I’m getting ready to open it up, to find out what’s going on," Tyahvia Smith said.

The letter said that a woman, who we are not naming, alleged that DeAngelo was the father of her daughter. The story went that a woman who worked as a stripper in Detroit had a one-night-stand with DeAngelo at a hotel. 

But he said he has no idea who this woman is.

"They conducted two to three interviews and between those interviews, I don’t know which one, she came back and said his name is DeAngelo Smith, his date of birth is December 13, 1982, he's a 6’1 male, dark skin, black hair, brown eyes. At that point, the state went out and came up with my name," DeAngelo said.

After getting the letter, the married couple drove to Benton Harbor on Michigan's west side - a 3-hour drive - as they followed the court order for genetic testing.

"The situation (is) so tumultuous on so many angles. But the first angle as it relates to the families. When you get a letter like this sent to your house, having a wife and three children live in the house with you. My main goal is my wife’s security in who I am, who I am to her, who I am to this house, and to this family," DeAngelo said.

"If our relationship, our marriage was on the rocks or if we had issues in the past that we patched up and this letter came, this letter alone is damaging to so many families, on so many levels to where a marriage, before the truth even gets a chance to come out, the letter alone would damage a whole household," Tyahvia said.

There was another turn on this wild ride - the alleged mother never showed up for the court hearing.

"I went back inside the building and asked if this woman never shows up, what is my recourse? What are my options? What am I able to do? What complaints can I file? False accusations? How do I go any further? They said there is no way we can establish paternity unless she brings the baby in. But if she never brings the baby in, what are my options? She said as far as I know, there are no complaints you can file," DeAngelo said.

That means DeAngelo could be connected to the case until the child turns 18.

"The concept is good. If you have a kid, why should the taxpayers pay for your kid?! If you’re the father. The problem is proving it. And a lot of time, the procedure is more difficult than the facts," FOX 2 legal analyst Charlie Langton said. "Luckily this doesn’t happen every day.  However, if you have a common name or you’ve been out with some people, it could happen! It’s more common than we think."

With the case pending, Friend of the Court inquired about DeAngelo's employment for possible wage garnishment. 

"The state has a duty to figure out his finances because if he doesn’t pass the test or if the test shows he is the father, they want to get this going right now. Remember the state has no time limit, 18 years," Langton said. "At some point, I think the mother is going to show up because she wants the money too! There are benefits she’s not getting until she cooperates and get that test. So mom, if you’re out there, show up."

DeAngelo said he's determined to clear his name.

"If this was even a possibility of it being my child, I would not be in front of a news camera trying to put this out here," he said.

FOX 2 reached out to Friend of the Court in Benton Harber several times but we have not heard back. We also reached out to the woman listed on the document who initially claimed not to have any knowledge of the situation - but she then called us back several times.

DeAngelo is seeking out a change in the legal process.

6-year-old runs up $1,000 Grubhub bill

A 6-year-old boy rang up quite the Grubhub order after scrolling through his dad's phone and pressing on the menus that came up. What started as a confusing couple of doorbells turned into a parade of food delivery.

This past Saturday, just before bedtime, Keith Stonehouse gave his son his phone to play on while he watched his show. But his son, Mason, had other ideas. It started with some shrimp from Happy's. Then a few chick sandwiches, followed by dessert since Mason knows how much his dad loves ice cream.

The Chesterfield Township family is used to people dropping stuff off at their home since Keith's wife runs a bakery. But the deliveries arriving this fateful weekend looked a little different. Eventually, dad put it together.

On his phone read some pretty amazing charges: $439 for pizzas. The total damage was $1,000, partly because of Mason's generous spirit. He tipped each other about 25%. Grubhub has offered to refund the family for the gaffe. 


6-year-old runs up $1,000 Grubhub dinner bill with dad's phone

Meet Mason Stonehouse, a 6-year-old with a big appetite.

Shooting suspect was out on bond for domestic violence

A man accused of shooting a woman in the neck at a Detroit gas station allegedly beat the mother of his child while out on bond. Torrion Hudson’s initial bond was $1 million after the Dec. 21 crime. However, it was lowered to $250,000 cash or surety. He used a bail bondsman to post bond and has been out of jail on a tether on house arrest since Jan. 11.

The alleged beating happened Saturday, and as of Tuesday, 22-year-old Hudson is back in custody.

The day before shooting the woman, Hudson allegedly beat and shot at an 18-year-old woman, who was too scared to cooperate with police at that point. The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office tried to fight Hudson’s bond, but the courts let it stand. 

"We knew it. Just a matter of time. Just like a thief, they'll always steal, and a criminal will always be a criminal," Keta Moore, the mother of shooting victim said. "He's violent and you would let a violent offender back on the street to revictimize. He did exactly what everybody thought that he was going to do."

Berkley Democrat voted while positive for Covid

A Michigan lawmaker is facing criticism for voting in session a day after testing positive for COVID-19. Rep. Natalie Price (D-Berkley) had stayed home during the governor's State of the State address before of positive status. 

But the next day, she showed up to vote on an economic relief plan. It's raised some questions about procedure since in previous years those with a positive infection were not allowed inside the capitol building. 

"I hope this is not a case of Speaker Tate just simply allowing his members to violate CDC guidelines simply because he has a thin majority," said House Minority Leader Andrew Beeler (R-Port Huron). "My hope is that it was an oversight, but I think that remains to be seen, and Leader Hall is working to get to the bottom of that now."

Tate's office said plans were made for Price to vote from the gallery using technology relied upon from the pandemic that allowed for voting. She wore a mask and only entered the gallery to cast her vote. 

Detroit councilwoman wants to end cashless systems

They used to say 'cash is king.' Now more and more establishments say - cash not accepted. - and for some people - that's a serious problem. "You have to give people choices and to rob them of that choice of using cash," said Councilwoman Angela Whitfield-Callaway. "It's a legal tender - you should be able to use cash wherever you go."

Whitfield-Calloway represents District 2 says when stores and venues don't accept cash, they're discriminating against those without credit or debit cards. You're "excluding the homeless, you are excluding senior citizens - especially in the city of Detroit."

A University of Michigan study shows 25% of Black Detroiters don't have a checking or savings account. But Calloway says she is fielding complaints from all races.

Ford Field, Little Caesars Arena and Comerica Park are all cashless - but do have a few kiosks where patrons can convert cash to a debit card. Now she's championing an ordinance that will go before City Council soon - to ensure businesses give patrons a cash option as well.

Live on FOX 2

Daily Forecast

Another cold day on the docket Wednesday with temperatures starting at or around zero this morning. Some sun is expected today before snow moves in tomorrow night. Friday will bring the coldest temperatures.

What else we're watching

  1. Parking in Brush Park has always been a struggle. Residents upset with spaces being taken up patrons the Midtown area want a permitted section for those who live in the neighborhood. They just might get it.
  2. General Motors is investing $650 million to get exclusive access to a Nevada-Oregon mine that has one of the largest sources of lithium in the U.S. It still needs approval from U.S. regulators and many parties are suing to stop the mine from opening.
  3. Michigan House Democrats voted Tuesday to move the state's presidential primary to the fourth week of February. It's slated to be part of the early-voting states in the presidential primary.
  4. A significant hearing in the Oxford school shooting civil case is scheduled Wednesday, where a judge will hear oral arguments about whether employees of the district should be dismissed from the lawsuit. It begins at 8:30 a.m.
  5. Warming shelters are opening around Detroit as temperatures remain below freezing in Southeast Michigan. Several locations are now open, including at several library branches.

Family of Tyre Nichols prepares to lay him to rest in Memphis

The family of Tyre Nichols plans to lay him to rest on Wednesday, three weeks after he died following a brutal beating by Memphis police after a traffic stop.

In those three weeks, five police officers have been fired and charged with murder, and their specialized unit was disbanded. Two more officers have been suspended. Also fired: two Memphis Fire Department emergency medical workers and a lieutenant. And more discipline could be coming.

But Wednesday will be about Nichols, 29-year-old skateboarder and amateur photographer who worked making boxes at FedEx, made friends during morning visits to Starbucks, and always greeted his mother and step-father when he returned home with a sunny, "Hello, parents!"