Sky banner flown by the Justice for Aiyana Jones Committee over Detroit on the first anniversary of her death May 16, 2011

Pre-trial evidence likely to be kept secret

Judge Hathaway discloses husband is a cop

Owens’ sentencing rescheduled again to Dec. 2 as Aiyana Jones’ father Charles awaits preliminary exam Nov. 18. 

By Diane Bukowski 

Oct. 30, 2011 


Photo of Weekley from "Detroit Swat" still on website with following info: Code Name: Brain; Specialty: APC Driver/Entry; Rank: Police Officer; Age: 30; Height: 5'3"; Weight: 160; Joe "Brain" Weekley began his career in law enforcement over 10 years ago as a patrolman on the streets of Detroit. After 7 years, 'Brain' joined SRT and has since become one of the primary drivers of the Armored Personnel Carrier. When he's not behind the wheel of the APC, Officer Weekley can be found at home with his wife and two children.

Detroit – It appears likely that a dark cloak of secrecy will surround the criminal trials of Detroit police officer Joseph Weekley, who shot 7-year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones to death on May 16, 2010, and A&E photographer Allison Howard. 

Weekley is charged with involuntary manslaughter and reckless discharge of a firearm, while Howard faces perjury and obstruction of justice charges whichallege that she lied about showing the A&E film of the raid to a “third party.” 

Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Cynthia Gray Hathaway announced that the trials are set to begin April 30, 2012, nearly two years after the child’s death, during a surprise “pre-trial hearing” for Weekly and Howard Oct. 28. The final conference will take place March 2, with all pre-trial motions due by Mar. 31. 

Aiyana Stanley-Jones on her father Charles Jones' Facebook Page

Wayne County Circuit Court Chief Judge Virgil Smith will hear a motion for a “protective order” in the case Nov. 11 at 9 a.m., related to discovery evidence. The motion was brought by Howard’s attorney Robert Harrison and has been reviewed by both Weekley’s attorney Steve Fishman and Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor Robert Moran, according to their statements Oct. 28. 

There are claims that the evidence must be kept under seal prior to trial because a mysterious one-man grand jury composed of Judge Timothy Kenny issued the indictments under obscure Michigan statutes. 

In response to questions directed to Worthy’s office regarding the grand jury, Kenny told VOD in an earlier email, “Since grand jury work is, by statute, a secret matter your questions cannot be answered.” 

Joseph Weekley with attorneys Robert Harrison, Steve Fishman in court Oct. 28

Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Daphne Means Curtis earlier refused to issue a blanket gag order in the civil case against Weekly brought by Aiyana’s parents Charles Jones and Dominika Stanley. She ruled that only the depositions of Weekly and Jones, who both face criminal charges, will be kept under seal and that the civil trial will proceed despite the pendency of the criminal case. 

The diminutive Weekley appeared at the Oct. 28 hearing, while Howard, who lives in New York, was not present. Her indictment states that she showed or gave the A&E videotape of the police raid on the Jones home to a “third party” and lied about it on May 21, 2010 to the grand jury. 

Youth call for justice for Aiyana Jones and Mumia Abu-Jamal at rally in downtown Detroit last Aug. 28

The question regarding the grand jury is whether it was already constituted less than one week after Aiyana’s killing. Harrison said he could not disclose the dates involved because grand jury proceedings are “secret.” 

Fishman said, “My client is holding up as well as can be expected when he hasn’t done anything wrong and yet is charged with manslaughter.” 

He called the grand jury proceeding “odd,” and said that the state legislature should re-fashion Michigan law to conform to federal law on grand juries, so that proceedings before them would not be so “secretive.” 

He said, “It’s a good question,” when asked the date of the grand jury proceedings. Under Michigan statutes, witnesses summoned to testify before state grand juries are allowed to have legal representation and to have their attorneys present when they are questioned; however witnesses and attorneys are not allowed to disclose information about the proceedings. 

Grand jury proceedings rule out the holding of preliminary exams in front of a 36th District Court Judge to determine if there is “probable cause” to proceed with the charges. Fishman said it is disadvantageous to his client not to have that opportunity.  

Charles Jones with daughter Aiyana before her killing by Joseph Weekley

Charles Jones is scheduled for a preliminary exam in 36th District Court on Nov. 18 on multiple charges of first-degree murder and felony firearms related to the killing of Je’rean Blake, 17, two days before Aiyana was killed.

Chauncey Owens has pled guilty to second-degree murder charges for shooting Blake, with an alleged plea agreement that he will “tell the truth” about who gave him the gun. The major media has jumped to the conclusion that it was Charles Jones, although Owens’ court file contains no such admission. 

Owens’ sentencing has been postponed for the third time, from Oct. 31 to Dec. 2, indicating there may be a problem eliciting the testimony the prosecution desires from him. 

Hathaway spent most of the Oct. 28 hearing disclosing that she is married to a police officer, a fact which VOD exposed (click on

Wayne Co. Deputy Sheriff DeWayne Hayes with wife Judge Cynthia Gray Hathaway

 “I am married to a police officer,” Hathaway said. “In all cases involving the police, I make that disclosure to all parties on the record. Only recently was I ever asked to be recused because of this. Otherwise I have presided over numerous cases involving police officers. I feel that I am able to decide in a far and impartial manner. I don’t let my personal relationships affect my decisions in court because of this.” 

Hathaway asked whether either the prosecution or defense attorneys had a problem with her hearing the case. Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor Robert Moran said he would decide on the matter later, while Fishman and Harrison said they had “no problem.” 

“I know your reputation, and I would be delighted to have you hear the case,” Harrison said, while Fishman joked that his wife is a retired probation officer but that doesn’t affect his handling of court matters.

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  1. Leesha says:

    It really pisses me off, to know that it took 1 to 2 years In order to trial the cop. Knowing that he murdered someone and lied saying someone grabbed his gun..

  2. Honestly says:

    Weekley is liar and a child killer. This cave n!@@er will walk. I hope karma bites this mayonnaise monkey. These filthy savages should never been let out the caves of Europe.

  3. BlowMe says:

    This child killer will walk because he is a cop. This society is disgusting. He deserves the same sentence any other person on the street would get for MURDERING a child. He was amped up because he was on TV and wanted to be a hero to America, he saw something moving under the sheets and he shot first with intent to ask questions later. Police in America are pathetic. This CHILD MURDERER better be sent to prison.

  4. Namasta Mastera says:

    I hope the way people are coming after this officer, they go after all the child killers that way. I know of children being murdered and the whole darn neighborhood won’t say a word and KNOW who did it. I’m not saying if this guy is or isn’t a killer, I wasn’t there and I didn’t see the video. Lets make an example of all the child killers.

  5. Me says:

    What about Justice for Jerean? Two children lost their lives, yet your articles only focus on one side of the issue. Write a fair article. Speak on how they harbored a killer and how Jerean’s family is dealing with the lost of their loved one. We want Justice of Jerean no matter who was involved. We will not let his death be in vain.

    • Diane Bukowski says:

      My heart goes out to any family member who has lost a young loved one in the ongoing violence in Detroit. But that violence arises from the severely depressed situation of poverty, joblessness, homelessness and hopelessness that many Detroiters face. You say you want “Justice for Je’Rean”–what more do you want than first-degree murder charges against Aiyana’s father?
      Did the Detroit police SRT team storm YOUR home with a bomb and shoot YOUR child to death in front of YOUR eyes? And then get charged only with manslaughter? There is NO comparison between the situations. You are doing a disservice to the community by feeding into the “divide and conquer” tactics the ;police and major media are using to excuse their reprehensible murder of a seven-year-old child. There is outrage all over the world over the Detroit police killing of a 7-year-old child, but here in Detroit, there is silence. As a mother of a young man, Lamar Grable, killed by Detroit police officer Eugene Brown (who killed two others in separate cases), used to say, “Your silence will not protect you.” Do not keep feeding into this divide-and-conquer strategy–the people perpetrating it care NOTHING about Je’Rean, they only want to cover for the police.

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