Saad Bahoda case preceded frame-up of Detroit businessman George Rider
AP Jorji Fedorak, married to ATF agent, prosecuted both Bahoda, Rider
Bahoda over-charged while on parole from now illegal 650 lifer sentence
BY RICARDO FERRELL
VOD Staff Writer
Further research, editing by Diane Bukowski
August 1, 2019
After decades of hearings and court proceedings held within Macomb County Courts, the level of corruption continues, causing many to wonder if any real justice will ever prevail for defendants, or be equally applied among those sworn to administer it.
Police agencies from cities like Shelby Township, Warren, Roseville, Mt. Clemens, Clinton Township, and Eastpointe continue to investigate and pursue trumped up cases in order to clear their books of numerous felonies.
The Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office, in past years headed by former Prosecutor Carl Marlinga, wasn’t exempt from scandal and corruption either, but Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith has continued and expanded the level of corruption since his election. He remains in office despite an ongoing federal investigation into his alleged embezzlement of public funds.
In 2011, Saad Bahoda was arrested by Shelby Township Police and overcharged by Smith’s office with Assault With Intent to Commit Murder for a minor altercation, which actually was self-defense, and if anything, only amounted to a simple fight.
On or about August 27, 2011, while attending a birthday party for his 17 year-old niece at the Sahara Restaurant located in Shelby, a fight broke out that involved Bahoda’s nephew who was only 18 years-old. Someone entered the restaurant and told Saad that his nephew Dylan needed him outside. Bahoda exited the restaurant after hearing his nephew might be in danger.
Witnesses testified at trial that Bahoda came out of the restaurant and broke up an altercation involving his nephew. Moments later nearly 35 individuals converged on him and his sister, who began swinging her purse to help her brother. Bahoda pushed his sister out of harm’s way and continued to ward off the mob attack. He reached into his pocket and pulled out the pocket knife that he used at his job cutting zip ties and stopped the altercation. Everyone left.
Bahoda soon after exited the Sweet Jane Hookah Lounge where he was confronted by a group of three. They aggressively come after Bahoda in what he perceived as an attack. He again pulled his pocket knife and instinctively tried to get the three attackers off by raising the knife, which struck the complainant on the neck.
Bahoda was held in the Macomb County Jail for TWO YEARS awaiting trial, as were George Rider, Marcie Griffith, and Eric Griffin. He didn’t make bail due to having a detainer from the MDOC. He had been paroled two years prior after serving 21 years for a 1990 life sentence on a 650 Lifer drug sentence, later outlawed as racially discriminatory.
Bahoda won a 1995 state Court of Appeals decision exonerating him in the 65o lifer drug case based on claims of prosecutorial misconduct. The prosecutor used the terms “Arab,” “Arab connection,” and “Iraqi” at a trial conducted during the Persian Gulf War. He also threatened two witnesses with life sentences if they did not testify truthfully, and another with deportation. Finally, he allegedly injected a “civic duty” argument, expressed a personal opinion about defendant’s guilt, and used denigrating terms to describe Bahoda.
But the COA ruling was later overturned by the Michigan Supreme Court. See https://www.leagle.com/decision/1995709448mich2611698.)
The prosecutor’s office vigorously pursued Bahoda after learning he was out on parole. The jury trial before retired visiting Judge Thomas Brookover was prosecuted by none other than Jurij Fedorak, the same Assistant Prosecutor in the Rider, Griffin, & Gibson case. He’s known for using shady tactics to obtain convictions. He is married to a federal Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Agent, Vera Fedorak as well.
Bahoda’s trial, like the Rider trial, had similar problems with Conflict of Interest, Questionable Conduct, and Improper Argument. The Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office knew the Bahoda case was nothing more than an instance of self-defense, as the facts surrounding the case showed.
Throughout the court proceedings and trial, Bahoda made it known to his attorneys that an evidentiary hearing was needed to sort out the many injustices in the case, involving conflicts of interest. Those conflicts included the fact that Bahoda earlier consulted Atty. Brian Legghio in an effort to retain him, but that later Legghio represented witness Natalie Allie who testified against him. Atty. Steven Kaplan later represented Bahoda but failed to object to that conflict of interest.
Mr. Bahoda’s subsequent trial attorney Robert Berg Jr. did employ the services of J.P. Carey Consulting, Inc., a well respected and reliable polygraph examination firm.
On April 19, 2012, at 8:14am, a polygraph examination was conducted on Saad Akram Bahoda at the Macomb County Jail. The results and findings by Mr. Carey indicated the following: “The subject’s polygrams contained no consistent specific physiological responses indicative of salience on relevant issue questions. After analysis of the subject’s polygrams, based on case facts available, it is this examiner’s opinion that the subject was truthful on the test issue.”
While Carl Marlinga represented Mr. Fedorak as his attorney, he filed a motion asking for Fedorak to recuse himself due to another conflict of interest, but the motion was not upheld and Marlinga shortly afterwards withdrew from the case.
Fedorak was able to obtain information by way of the portrayed conflict of interest between Brian Legghio and Bahoda. As an officer of the court, Fedorak should have disqualified himself so as not to have the appearance of being biased or interjecting an improper prosecutorial maneuver. In addition, Fedorak, along with another of Bahoda’s attorneys Daniel Rust both collaborated and conspired to sabotage Bahoda’s Ginther hearing in an effort to cover up the conflict of interest between Fedorak and Legghio.
Based on the above conflicts of interests, ineffective assistance of counsel, disregard for the interest of justice, overcharging by prosecutor’s office, injustices and inequities in applying the law, and total disregard of an obvious self-defense claim by defendant Saad Bahoda, all caused the resumption of Bahoda’s unfair and illegal life sentence. In other words, he was out on parole after serving 21 years on a sentence that basically was ruled illegal when Michigan drug laws changed in 1998 and 2003.
Bahoda earlier won a state Court of Appeals decision exonerating him in the 65o lifer drug case based on claims of prosecutorial misconduct. The prosecutor used the terms “Arab,” “Arab connection,” and “Iraqi” at a trial conducted during the Persian Gulf War. He also threatened two witnesses with life sentences if they did not testify truthfully, and another with deportation. Finally, he allegedly injected a civic duty argument, expressed a personal opinion about defendant’s guilt, and used denigrating terms to describe Bahoda.
But that COA decision was later overturned by the Michigan Supreme Court.
The parolable life sentence to which Saad was sentenced to in 1990, is now in 2019 being used to hold him beyond the new 3 to 15 years term he received on the Shelby Township incident. The bottom line is, Eric Smith’s office vigorously pursued what amounts to an act of self-defense and turned it into the highest charge possible – Assault w/i to Commit Murder.
It’s blatantly obvious the Macomb County Prosecutors Office wanted to continue punishing Mr. Bahoda because of his drug conviction and parole status. The fact that the ‘650 Life’ was deemed illegal and unfair should have prompted a different outcome as it relates to the overcharge in the first place of something, if anything only amounted to a fight, or simple assault, a 90 day misdemeanor, which means Mr. Bahoda wouldn’t be back in prison serving an illegal life sentence.
The ‘650 life’ term meant anyone convicted of possession or delivering 650 grams or more of a controlled substance were automatically given life without parole sentences, which were changed to parolable life as a result of litigation and the Foster-Bey civil lawsuit covering some 850 parolable lifers.
The newly passed federal First Step Act in the Criminal Justice Reform packet allows for 3,000 such offenders to be considered for immediate release. See https://www.firststepact.org/about.
The U.S. Senate, the U.S. House, and President Trump have all strongly suggested that states should follow suit and implement their own versions of the First Step Act, which would mean the handful of 650 lifers in Michigan would be released, and so should Saad Bahoda, who is the real victim in the Shelby Township case. In retrospect he was only trying to protect his nephew, sister and himself from imminent harm and/or danger.
Saad has now served virtually eight additional years on a sentence that has long been deemed illegal. In the interest of fundamental fairness and the interest of justice, Saad Bahoda should not have to serve the rest of life in prison for a drug conviction that’s nearly 30 years old. Altogether Saad has served nearly three decades on the same life sentence.
What sense does it make to have someone who was trying to do the right thing to serve the same life sentence twice?
Writer’s final note: The Bahoda case has striking similarities to that of the Rider, Griffin and Gibson case (see story below). The same Prosecutor and AP’s were involved where there were instances of conflict of interest, and repeated denial of valid and meritorious motions by Judges Brookover and Suzanne Faunce. Assist. Prosecutor Jurji Fedorak vindictively pursued defendants despite the lack of evidence to support the charges and used the prestige of his office to obtain a conviction.
This racist and corrupt county must be stopped and held accountable; that means the corrupt judges who have shown their disregard for justice in their courtrooms, as well as Chief Prosecutor Eric Smith and his corrupt underling Jurij Fedorak, and police agencies in cities like, Warren, Roseville, Clinton Township, Harrison Township, and Shelby Township, should be put on trial instead.
MSC decision on Bahoda case, 1995