Men Appear In Lansing Court To Face Murder Charges

By: Liam Martin Email
By: Liam Martin Email

LANSING -- David Marion, Jr., and Benjamin French appeared in court Wednesday in Lansing to learn if they'll face trial -- both accused of entering a home on Glasgow Street last March in Lansing and killing 18-year-old Darren Brown, Jr., and 23-year-old Owen Goodenow.

"I walked toward him, looked at him and noticed the blood on the floor," said Tyler Cole at Wednesday's preliminary examination. Cole is the victims' former roommate and good friend, who came home March 25, 2010, to find them both dead.

"I pushed his bedroom door open and realized that he was dead, as well," Cole said, recounting his discovery of Goodenow.

Both had been shot in the head from point-blank range.

At the examination, the prosecution entered one of its key pieces of evidence -- a cell phone conversation between the defendants back in September, in which authorities say both men implicated themselves in the murders (though they declined to get into specifics of what was said until the case goes to trial. A preliminary examination is only intended to establish probable cause for such a trial).

Marion Jr. had given the FBI his consent to record the conversation after agreeing to cooperate.

There was also "Forensic evidence that was seized during the autopsy," added Ingham County Assistant Prosecutor Bill Crino.

But the defense says it's fighting whether or not this case even makes it to trial, questioning when Marion Jr. was read his Miranda rights and why authorities in Illinois -- where the recorded call between Marion Jr. and French took place -- were never asked to give their consent for the wire tap.

"The prosecution maintains that he had made some statements prior to his arrest," said William Hatchett, defense lawyer for Marion Jr. "And we are here today to see what those statements may or not been, and determine if they might be subject to challenge."

Both sides will take up the examination again Thursday morning -- with an answer expected from the judge on if and when a trial will take place.

Stay with News 10 and WILX.com for updates.


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