Pittsfield Township homeowner will not be charged in shooting, prosecutors rule
After spending the night drinking at a Detroit casino, Michael Rajchel drove to a Pittsfield Township home intent on killing the homeowner, investigators say.
Washtenaw County prosecutors have ruled the case justifiable homicide and say all the evidence in the case points to self-defense. Farha, the homeowner police say Rajchel intended to kill, will not be charged with any crimes.
New details emerged today as Pittsfield Township police released the findings of toxicology results and other evidence that supports Farha's self-defense assertion.
Farha, who lived at 2361 Rockport Court in the Arbor Creek subdivision, was home the morning of Dec. 2 when Rajchel showed up at his house about 8:30 a.m.
When Farha walked out of his garage, Rajchel ordered him to get in his vehicle and drive away, Pittsfield Public Safety Director Matt Harshberger said. Farha and Rajchel both got in Farha's car, but when Farha refused to drive away, Rajchel showed a Norinco semi-automatic pistol tucked in his waistband and began to reach for it, police said.
"At that point, (Farha) felt threatened and that his life was in danger," Harshberger said. "He was firing as he was jumping out of the driver's side of his vehicle."
Farha, who obtained a concealed weapons permit on May 19, 2009, shot Rajchel nine times with a Smith & Wesson pistol, police said. Rajchel died in the passenger's seat of Farha's vehicle with the pistol tucked in his waistband - its hammer cocked back and ready to fire, police said.
Toxicology reports showed Rajchel had a blood alcohol level of 0.12 - above the legal limit of 0.08 at which a person is considered driving drunk. He also had prescription medication in his system, police said.
The two men had some type of business relationship, but exactly what it was is unclear, Harshberger said. Also not known is why Rajchel visited Farha's house that morning and where he planned to go with him.
Police said in a press release that they put together a detailed timeline of the case, which "led investigators to numerous locations, including Detroit, Southfield and Belleville."
Police said they received "credible evidence that Michael Rajchel drove to the home of Adham Farha with the stated intent to kill Farha."
Farha could not be reached for comment, and no attorney information was available.
Farha was arrested the morning of the shooting and was then released as police continued to investigate. The case was resubmitted to prosecutors for review March 15, and the findings were released today.
Deputy Chief Assistant Prosecutor Steven Hiller said prosecutors reviewed all the evidence and closed the case without charges Tuesday. He said the burden would be on prosecutors to prove that it was not self-defense if charges had been brought.
"We found there was insufficient evidence to prove this was not self-defense," Hiller said.