By Diane Bukowski
January 10, 2012 (Updated January 12, 2012)
(Ed. note: Prosecutors announced last week that the plea deal for Chauncey Owens, who the daily media has claimed would testify against Jones, has been officially vacated and he will stand trial for first-degree murder after he refused three times to testify against Jones in court. The outcome was expected by both Owens and his attorney David Cripps. His next court hearing will be Feb. 5 in front of Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Richard Skutt, to set a trial date. Jones’ next court hearing is Jan. 26, 2012.)
DETROIT – Why alleged “jailhouse snitch” Jay Allen Schlenkerman, Michigan Department of Corrections #370328, is not serving time for kidnapping, rape and attempted murder, after severely beating several women, holding them against their will, and threatening to kill them, is an indictment of the court system and its treatment of domestic violence victims.
The Wayne County Prosecutor’s office charged Schlenkerman only with “aggravated domestic violence,” a misdemeanor, in 2011, and with “assault and battery” on his wife in 1999. They have not charged him with perjury for lying to police and judges about the incidents, once in writing, even after pleading guilty.
Wayne County Asst. Prosecutor Robert Moran said Dec. 20 that he wants Schlenkerman to testify on Jan. 28 that a fellow prisoner at the Wayne County Dickerson facility, Chauncey Owens, “bragged” about killing Je’rean Blake May 14 and said Charles Jones, father of Aiyana Stanley-Jones, gave him the gun. Detroit police shot Aiyana, 7, to death May 16, 2011 during a Special Response Team assault on her home.
Thirty-Sixth District Court Judge E. Lynise Bryant-Weekes is to hear arguments from Jones’ attorney Leon Weiss, of the Fieger law firm, and Owens’ attorney David Cripps, that Schlenkerman should not be allowed to testify Jan. 26. Absent any statement from Owens, Moran appears to have no other direct evidence against Jones.
In a handwritten statement in court files, Debbie C. a mother of two, described her last encounter with Schlenkerman May 25, 2011, the crime for which he was serving time in Dickerson. (Last names of women in this story are not being used to prevent adverse affects on their lives.)
“Early morning, 1:30, he came home drunk and proceeded to beat me with a belt in face, upper body, vaginal area and groin, made me sleep in the bathroom, peed on me, and wouldn’t let me leave,” Debbie C. said. “He stuck his fingers up my butt and then in my mouth and told me that’s what a dirty whore tastes like.”
She said she was held against her will in her home for three days, and that Schlenkerman threatened to kill her if she left him. That was likely the reason Brownstown Township police cited “kidnapping” in the first report they filed with Michigan State Police. Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor Opolla Brown changed the charge to misdemeanor domestic violence.
Debbie C. added in her report that this was only one of numerous and repeated similar incidents, during which Schlenkerman also forced her to have sex, during their three-year relationship.
Medical records in the court file show she was treated for a closed head injury, physical and sexual abuse, post-traumatic stress syndrome, likely leakage of cerebro-spinal fluid through her nose, and that she was experiencing “night terrors.”
Schlenkerman was sentenced in the Debbie C. case to 180 days in jail, with 34 days credit for time served, and 18 months probation, according to court files.
Even while jailed, Schlenkerman was charged with eight counts of violating a personal protection order by calling Debbie C., having others call her, and writing her. Court records show that five of the counts were dropped on Oct. 7, 2011, prior to Nov. 28, the date Moran said Schlenkerman signed a statement against Jones.
As a result of the charges, Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Richard Halloran banned Jones from using the phone in the jail and otherwise communicating with Debbie C.
“There’s been many times that he’s hurt me.” Karena B. wrote in a 2000 PPO filing that did not result in charges, but was granted. “I’ve had two black eyes. He’s choked me until I almost past out, he steals all my money that I work hard for, he’s facing his 4th DUI, plans on skipping state, trying to make me go with him. He breaks all my stuff. I just want to live in my house without him. I have a son he goes to school. Need him out of our lives before he really kills me. The last time he choked me was July 12, 2000. He would call me names and make me feel bad about my job.”
In the 1999 case involving his wife Natalie S., for which Schlenkerman served 93 days in jail, court records state, “Defendant has choked plaintiff 10/13/99; on 7/24/99 sat on her chest until she could hardly breathe, stopped her from leaving.” They also state he called her on the date of their divorce hearing, Nov. 25, 1999, and told her, “I’ll show you what a fight would be. I’ll be there in 10 minutes.” She called police at that point.
Schlenkerman attempted to gain custody of his child from another relationship, with Michelle S., in 1998, but was denied. In 2003, Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Bill Callahan granted permission for Michelle S. to move to Arizona because Schlenkerman “failed to exercise parenting time for 3 ½ years or pay support since June 2001.” As of 2001, he owed $5,764.50 according to court records.
Schlenkerman has numerous other charges for drunk driving, and for assaulting and resisting a police officer, a two-year felony for which he served only 60 days, and for probation violations, earlier cited in VOD’s story, (click on http://voiceofdetroit.net/2011/12/24/prosecution-uses-%e2%80%98jail-house-snitch%e2%80%99-against-aiyana%e2%80%99s-dad-after-owens-again-refuses-to-testify-in-murder-case/).
Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Maggie Drake finally sent him to the Michigan Department of Corrections for two counts of operating while intoxicated, third violation, on Feb. 21, 2006. According to documents from the MDOC, he was sentenced to a total of two to five years. It is unknown how much of that time he served since his records have somehow been removed from the MDOC Offender Tracking Information Service (OTIS).
Can Schlenkerman be counted on not to lie during the Charles Jones court hearing?
On Aug. 1, 2011, he wrote a letter to 33rd District Court Judge James Kersten, who sentenced him July 1. Kersten also sentenced him to minor amounts of time in previous cases, despite the fact they involved felony repeat DUI charges. VOD reviewed the six-page letter to Kersten, in his file at that court in Woodhaven, on Jan. 9.
“This is my first DV and definitely my last!” he told Kersten. The same file, however, says he had a history of domestic violence, and cites his 1999 conviction, which was for assault and battery on his wife. Even though Schlenkerman pled “nolo contendere,” the equivalent of guilty, to the 2011 DV charge, he informed Kersten that Debbie C. told him she sustained her injuries on May 25, 2011 in a car accident, during which she hit her head against the steering wheel.
He told Kersten in the same letter, “I wrote Debbie C. a couple of letters asking for my money, asking for the titles of my vehicles, asking for my property. Never once did I threaten her. I just wanted my property and money. Well that became a big mess. The Prosecutor threatened me with three letters. Saying if I don’t take the 6 months deal for DV and if we go to trial, he’s going to charge me with aggravated stalking, a 5 year felony. I would win that trial, but I didn’t want that felony on my record so I took that crazy deal, 6 months for first DV.”
According to the file, the conditions of Schlenkerman’s probation included: “attend 36 week DV program, not consume or possess alcohol or illegal chemicals, subject to random testing, no contact direct or indirect with Debbie C; SA evaluation. The file also says, “One visit allowed by FAMILY MEMBER with police officer to obtain personal belongings, leave keys to both house and car.”
Schlenkerman also told a Brownstown Township police detective regarding the Debbie C. incident, that on May 26, 2011. “he noticed injuries on her arms as well as a black eye and a swollen lip. He asked her what had happened and she stated that she was involved in a minor car accident where she rear-ended somebody and hit her face on the steering wheel. Schlenkerman observed minor damage to the victim’s vehicle and believed her story at first.’
He then told the detective that he became suspicious and asked her if she was assaulted by her ex-husband or a boyfriend, to which she said “No.” He said there were no marks on him and said she was making up the story because she owed him money and he was planning on leaving her.
Schlenkerman’s employment records show that for the last several years, he has run a business “Comet Floor Coverings” out of Debbie C.’s house as well as his mother’s house. Other court records show that he has maintained residence at various women’s houses over the years, but never owned one of his own.
Since leaving Dickerson, he has filed for a PPO against Debbie C., as he did in the case of a former girl-friend, Jackie K. A hearing is to be held Thurs. Jan. 12 in front of Wayne County Circuit Judge Richard Halloran. Debbie C. is to be represented by well-known attorney and activist Racine Miller.
Update: At the hearing Jan. 12, Debbie C. appeared with two security officers from Threat Management. Her attorney Racine Miller asked Judge Richard Halloran to deny Jay Schlenkerman’s request for a PPO, noting that Schlenkerman kidnapped Debbie C. and tortured her for three days on the same day he claimed she threatened him with a knife. (There is no statement from Schlenkerman in the Brownstown Township police report regarding any threat with a knife.)
Schlenkerman, who appeared without an attorney or other supporters, alleged that he needs the PPO because friends of his have heard Debbie C. repeatedly threaten to kill him, and seen her “stalking” him on his job. Halloran curtly ordered him to produce the friends to testify under oath at a hearing March 8, or he will deny the PPO.
Schlenkerman also petitioned the judge for the return of property allegedly belonging to him from Debbie C.’s home He said he had already gone to her home with Brownstown Township police to get the property, despite the fact that he is still under a court order to have no contact with her.
Halloran ordered him to meet with Miller as “an officer of the court” regarding those possessions. Schlenkerman said he would go to the home with a moving van. Halloran warned him that either a family member or a friend must accompany the van, not Schlenkerman.
Halloran also ordered Schlenkerman to immediately enter a “batterers invention” program, correcting Schlenkerman’s description of the program as “anger management.” He said Schlenkerman must report back to him in 30 days regarding his participation in the program.