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Monday, January 9, 2012

Cause of death determined in Romulus murder investigation

1-9-2012 Michigan:

Victim beaten, cut, suffocated

Romulus police are trying to figure out what happened to a 57-year-old Romulus man.

Frank Jones was found dead inside his home on Springhill Street Saturday morning by his son. Jones was found face down in the bathroom with his hands tied behind his back and a plastic bag over his face. The home had been ransacked, but police said none of the personal items inside the house were missing.

The medical examiner tells Local 4, Jones was beaten, cut and suffocated to death.

After the attack, Jones Ford Mustang was stolen from his driveway, but has since been recovered by Canton Township police. It was found Sunday morning in the parking lot of WalMart in Canton about 10 miles from the victim’s house.

Police are taking a close look at the victim’s car and investigating Jones past. Jones is listed on the Michigan Sex Offender Registry for his connection to a child porn case that dates back to 2006.

Anyone with information is asked to call Romulus police at 734-942-8400. ..Source.. by


No arrests in death of Romulus man found bound with a bag over his head

1-9-2012 Michigan:

A 57-year-old man found in his Romulus home with his hands tied behind his back and a plastic bag over his head had been beaten on the head and suffocated, the Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office said Sunday.

The victim was tentatively identified as Frank Jones.

Jones is listed on the Michigan sex offender registry under his address in the 15600 block of Springhill, where police said he lived alone. He was convicted of child sexually abusive activity in 2006, according to online records.

Romulus police said they are looking into Jones’ background, but declined to discuss his criminal history today.

Jones' body was found by his son Saturday. Police said the son had been trying to reach him by phone since Wednesday. When the son couldn't reach his father, he went to Jones' house on Springhill and found him facedown in a pool of blood in the bathroom. It's unclear how long he had been there.

Jones had wounds on his face and chest and shoulder areas, police said.

"It appears that there was a struggle in at least three areas of the home based on some evidence that was located," Romulus Police Capt. Derran Shelby said. He declined to say what that evidence was.

Police did not find any signs of forced entry to the home.

A bedroom was ransacked, and personal belongings were thrown around the room, police said. Investigators have not found the man's cell phone or wallet.

His 1999 yellow Ford Mustang convertible also was missing Saturday. Canton police spotted the unoccupied car in the parking lot of a Walmart store on Ford Road about 2 a.m. Sunday, Shelby said.

Surveillance video from the store showed it was parked there about 4:20 p.m. Saturday, Shelby said.

Police plan to obtain a search warrant to look for evidence inside the car today. They also are trying to retrace Jones' final weeks to find out who he was with before his death and what activities he may have been involved in.

"At this point, we're trying to really dig into his background, " Shelby said.

Family members gathered outside Jones' home Sunday. They said they didn't want to comment and asked for privacy.

Anyone with information can call Romulus Police at 734-941-8400. Police also want to hear from anyone who saw his 1999 yellow Ford Mustang convertible in recent days. ..Source.. by Elisha Anderson


Sex offender found blugeoned to death

1-10-2012 Michigan:

ROMULUS, Mich., Jan. 10 (UPI) -- A Romulus, Mich., man was found suffocated and bludgeoned to death in his home, police say.

Frank Jones' son dialed 911 Saturday night to report discovering his 57-year-old father's body face down in a pool of blood on the bathroom floor of his home. The victim's hands were tied behind his back and his head was covered with a plastic bag. An autopsy showed the cause of death was blunt force trauma.

There were no signs of forced entry.

Romulus Police Capt. Derran Shelby told the Detroit News: "It was a brutal, torturous type of killing. There's nothing that leads me to believe this was random."

Detectives say a motive for the killing may be Jones' status as a convicted sex offender. He served three years in prison for attempting to arrange sex with a Oakland County Sheriff's deputy who was posing as a 14-year-old boy.

"At this point, it's too early to say if that definitely played a part, but it's an avenue we're investigating," Shelby told the Detroit News. ..Source.. by


Romulus police: Man charged in deadly beating

1-13-2012 Michigan:

ROMULUS, Mich. - Romulus police think they have solved the murder of 57-year-old Frank Jones, who on Saturday was found beaten to death in his home.

Michael Sutton, 41, of Canton Township was arraigned Friday on charges of first-degree murder and torture.

"Working backwards using phone records on the subject and the victim, and using search warrants we gained great intelligence," said Romulus Police Chief Robert Dickerson.

Police have not revealed a motive, but based on graphic text messages, they said they think the men had been intimate. They had known each other for about five years.

The medical rxaminer said Jones died of asphyxiation and blunt force trauma. His hands were tied behind his back, and a pillow case was taped over his head, police said.

Investigators said they think Jones drove Sutton to his home and Sutton allegedly stole the car after killing him on Jan. 4.

Three days later, Jones' son found the body in his father's bathroom.

Sutton was arrested Tuesday after a brief foot chase in Canton Township. He's being held on a $1 million dollar cash bond. ..Source.. by Roger Weber, Local 4 Reporter


Canton Township man is arraigned in friend's slaying

1-15-2012 Michigan:

He is charged with torture, murder; victim found by son

A 41-year-old Canton Township man was arraigned Friday on charges that he killed a 57-year-old man found bound and beaten to death on his bathroom floor last week.

Michael Sutton was arraigned in 34th District Court on charges of first-degree murder, felony murder and torture in the death of Frank Jones.

Police said Jones was found by his son Jan. 7 face-down in a pool of blood at his home on Springhill Street.

Jones' hands had been tied behind his back, and a plastic bag was over his head. The son went to check on his father after he hadn't heard from him in several days.

Police said the killer drove off with Jones' yellow 1999 Ford Mustang, which was found Sunday in a Canton Township Walmart parking lot.

Police Chief Robert Dickerson said evidence found during the investigation led police to Sutton.

Physical evidence, as well as phone and data records, showed that Jones and Sutton had an "intimate relationship," the chief said.

"The suspect knew his victim very well," Dickerson said.

Police don't yet have a motive for the crime, he added.

Bond was set at $1 million. A preliminary exam is scheduled for 9 a.m. Jan. 25.

Dickerson attributed Sutton's arrest to a collaboration between the Romulus, Canton Township and Michigan State police departments.

"We are very pleased there is a suspect in custody for this violent and senseless murder," state police Capt. Monica Yesh said in a statement.

Jones was convicted in 2006 on child sex abuse charges. For that crime, he served three years in prison. ..Source.. by Candice Williams, The Detroit News


Acquaintance charged in Romulus man's slaying

1-14-2012 Michigan:

A 41-year-old suburban Detroit man is charged with murder and torture in the slaying of an acquaintance found bound and beaten on his bathroom floor.

Michael Sutton of Canton Township was arraigned Friday in Romulus District Court. He was ordered jailed without bond.

Police say phone records show Sutton and 57-year-old Frank T. Jones shared an intimate relationship. Jones was found Jan. 7 in his Romulus home, southwest of Detroit. His hands were tied behind his back. A pillow case was over his head.

An autopsy revealed he had been beaten.

Jones' son went to the home after not hearing from his father for several days.

Sutton faces a Jan. 25 preliminary examination. The Associated Press could not determine Friday night if he had a lawyer. ..Source.. by


ROMULUS: Police confident they have sole person responsible in homicide

ROMULUS — Residents breathed a sigh of relief after learning there had been an arrest in the death of Frank Thomas Jones, 57.

Michael Sutton, 41, of Canton Township was arraigned before 34th District Magistrate Alan Hindman on Friday on charges of first-degree murder, felony murder and torture.

Bond was set at $1 million. Sutton is being held in the Wayne County Jail.

A preliminary examination of the evidence against him is set for next Wednesday.

Questions have continued in the community as to whether an additional person might have been involved in Jones’ death.

Romulus police Capt. Derran Shelby said Monday morning that he is confident the sole person responsible is in custody. Nevertheless, he said, anything is possible in an ongoing investigation.

Jones was found dead in his house Jan. 7 in the 15000 block of Springhill Street near Middlebelt and Eureka roads.

His son, Joshua Jones, had been trying to reach him for two days and decided to drive to his father’s house to check on him.

According to police, Joshua Jones found his father lying in a pool of blood with his hands tied behind his back and a plastic bag over his head.

Frank Jones’ yellow Ford Mustang was missing from outside the house and was found the next morning by Canton Township police in a Walmart parking lot on Ford Road. Continued... by Jackie Harrison-Martin


Murder suspect to stand trial


Barring a new development, a Canton man accused of torturing and killing 57-year-old Frank Jones of Romulus is set to stand trial in May in Wayne County Circuit Court, authorities have confirmed.

Michael Joseph Sutton, 41, faces life in prison if he is convicted of first-degree murder, felony murder and torture following allegations he killed Jones, whose son found him lying face down in his bathroom Jan. 7 with his hands tied behind his back and his head covered by a plastic bag.

Sutton's trial has been scheduled for May 10 in front of Circuit Judge Timothy Kenny, according to Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Maria Miller.

Sutton was ordered to stand trial during his Feb. 1 preliminary examination in Romulus 34th District Court.

Romulus Police Chief Robert Dickerson has said Jones and Sutton had an “intimate relationship” before Jones was killed. The Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office has ruled blunt force trauma as the cause of death.

If convicted of first-degree murder, Sutton faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Canton authorities have said Sutton lived in the Autumn Ridge apartment complex near Cherry Hill and Lotz roads before his arrest. Police have said Sutton was arrested near his residence after he tried to flee.

A cooperative effort among police agencies led to the arrest.

The day after Jones' body was found in a pool of blood in his bathroom, his Ford Mustang had been found in the Walmart parking lot on Ford Road east of Lotz, Canton Detective Sgt. Dave Schreiner has said.

Sutton was ordered jailed with a $1 million cash bond after his arrest. Romulus police have cited phone records and other evidence they say led to charges against Sutton.

Jones lived in the 15600 block of Springhill in Romulus and was a registered sex offender. According to the Michigan Department of Corrections, he had served three years in prison for child sexually abusive material or activity.

Jones had been released from prison in August 2009. ..Source.. by Observer and Eccentric

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