Testimony: Suspects in Detroit firefighter murder cracked safe, set vehicles ablaze
From the chief to the newest rookie, a Detroit courtroom was packed to the brim with members of the city's fire department Friday.
One of their friends, brutally murdered inside his own home while the three people accused of the crime faced a judge.
Disturbing details brought tears to the eyes of family, friends and fellow firefighters of 59-year-old David Madrigal. The 25-year veteran Detroit firefighter was robbed and killed last year.
"He was laid back in his recliner with his feet up," said David Madrigal, his son. "Blood coming out of his nose, forehead and ears."
Those charged with his murder listened as Madrigal's son described discovering his father's body last December.
Attorney: "Your original thought was what?"
"When I found him," Madrigal said. "That he shot himself."
The suspects - 32-year-old Timmy Soto, 33-year-old Nicole Oneill and 19-year-old Christian Rasnick are charged for murdering Madrigal, hitting him in the head then ransacking his home.
Madrigal said that the safe was missing when he looked inside the house.
As the three are accused of stealing Madrigal's jewelry and guns along with his motorcycle and black Ford Explorer. An old friend of Soto's, Angel Miranda-Moll testified Friday that the trio showed up at his home with that truck, and a safe. He said they cracked it open with a sledgehammer and crowbar.
"We get it open and Timmy went through it and he took out an envelope that had $1,100 in it."
Miranda-Moll says Soto and Rasnick split the money, testifying he then received a gun from Soto. The trio is accused of later setting Madrigal's motorcycle and truck on fire.
"When I saw it on the news, what happened, I got scared," Miranda Moll said.
As Oneill and Rasnick sat with their heads down, the defense accused Miranda-Moll of changing his story.
"You took a sledgehammer and started breaking open that safe, is that correct?"
"Yeah," he said.
"That's what you've testified to today, is that correct," the attorney said.
"Yes," he said.
But Miranda-Moll insists he went along with the plan because he was afraid of Soto.
The preliminary exam is expected to continue May 4 when responding officers will testify.