Hearing delayed after man beaten during alleged robbery unable to testify due to injuries
The man who suffered a broken jaw and blindness in his right eye after being beaten and shot with a pellet gun during an alleged robbery earlier this month was unable to testify at a hearing Tuesday, causing a delay.
Courtesy of the WCSO
Antonio Frank Thomas, 23, is accused of being part of a group of men who attacked the 53-year-old Ypsilanti man at 9:15 p.m. on Aug. 12 before going through his pockets. The man was severely beaten, suffering a broken jaw, and was shot in the eye with a pellet gun, causing permanent blindness in that eye, according to police.
The man took the stand for a brief period Tuesday morning, but told Washtenaw County Assistant Prosecutor J. Samuel Holtz that he wasn’t able to speak for long periods of time, due to injuries from the alleged assault.
The hearing was adjourned for two weeks until 8:30 a.m. Sept. 11 by District Court Judge Joseph Burke.
Thomas is charged with armed robbery, assault with intent to rob while armed, assault with intent to murder, assault with intent to do bodily harm less than murder and assault with a dangerous weapon. He’s being held in the Washtenaw County Jail on a $150,000 bond.
Michael Vincent, Thomas’ attorney, attempted to get the bond lowered to a more manageable level Tuesday. He said the high bond didn’t give his client or Thomas’ family any chance of bailing him out of jail.
“My client remains innocent until proven guilty. One hundred and fifty thousand dollars might as well be $150 million,” he said.
Holtz countered by saying that any delays in the hearing were caused by the assault allegedly committed by Thomas — if the victim had a healthy jaw, then he wouldn’t need more time to heal, he said.
In addition, Thomas and his family know the man and have had a relationship for years, which made Holtz wary of releasing him while the case was still pending.
“He has known the victim, he knows his family he’s had a relationship with him for many years,” Holtz said.
Burke eventually decided not to amend the bond and Thomas was returned to jail to wait for his next hearing.