For Second Year In A Row Lansing Records 10 Homicides

(WLNS) – Ten people lost their lives at the hands of another in Lansing in 2014.

Assuming there aren’t any homicides on this last day of the year, the homicide count in the capital city remained at 10 over the last 12 months. Lansing saw the same number of homicides in 2013. (Homicide and murder are not the same thing. When someone kills someone, it’s a homicide. Murder is a homicide with criminal intent. If you kill someone while defending yourself, it could be classified as a homicide but not a murder.)

Unlike past years, where the first homicide happened as early as January 1st, it took more than four months for Lansing to log its first such killing in 2014. May 4th ended up being a particularly deadly day. Jo Lee VanBuren was shot and killed along the 1300 block of Roosevelt Street, and someone found the body of Terry Todd Alber near Larch Street (although that death wasn’t ruled a homicide until months later).

The Alber homicide was one of two in which bodies just turned up. The decomposed body of Bobby Duvale Brown was found along the 900 block of Porter Street on September 23rd. Police have not made arrests in either of those cases.

They appear to be two of the three unsolved cases in 2014. Detectives are still trying to find out who killed 17-year-old Richard Pruitt. Someone shot the teen on August 16th. He spent several days in the hospital before passing away on August 21st.

Two other cases were closed when the killers killed themselves. Jose Rodriguez-Yera turned the gun on himself after killing Dr. Kristin Batdorf on May 29th. Johnnie Conner, Jr. did the same thing on October 21st after shooting and killing Bessie Rodriguez in the parking lot of a McLaren facility where she worked. Police say the killers knew their victims, describing both of their cases as domestic violence.

Police have made arrests in four other cases. They include Rahsohn Jamere Perry, who police say shot and killed his brother, Michael Jimenez, in November. Prosecutors also charged Ricard Taylor for the May 12th shooting of Michael Addo in what was perhaps the highest profile case in 2014. Taylor is also accused of shooting a second man down the road in East Lansing shortly after killing Addo at a Rite Aid pharmacy.

And in a September shooting on Pine Street, police have turned their report over to the Ingham County prosecutor. He has yet to decide whether to press charges against anyone in that case.

The 10 homicides in 2014 are about average for Lansing. Over the last decade, statistics compiled by 6 News and the Lansing Police Department put the number of homicides, murders, and cases of non-negligent manslaughter as low as 6 (in 2006) and as high as 16 (in 2007). The numbers average out to 10.5 per year since 2005.

Nick Perreault will break down the numbers and take a closer look at some of these cases tonight on 6 News at 5 & 6.

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