OCCK

In my 57 years of practice, I have no criminal law experience except for a few drunk driving cases early in my career. The Michigan Search Warrant Statute came to my attention when the Oakland County Prosecutor presented the April 29, 2011 orders in both my Michigan State Police and Oakland County Prosecutor FOIA lawsuits. The Order stated basically that no one could have access to the Busch search warrant file in the 48th District Court for the search of the former Christopher Busch residence on October 28, 2008.

The last sentence of Section 9 of the Michigan Search Warrant Statute (Act 189 of 1966) specifically provides that the suppression orders authorized by the statute do not apply in FOIA cases:

(9) On the fifty-sixth day following the issuance of a search warrant, the search warrant affidavit contained in any court file or court record retention system is public information unless, before the fifty-sixth day after the search warrant is issued, a peace officer or prosecuting attorney obtains a suppression order from a judge or district court magistrate upon a showing under oath that suppression of the affidavit is necessary to protect an ongoing investigation or the privacy or safety of a victim or witness. The suppression order may be obtained ex parte in the same manner that the search warrant was issued. An initial suppression order issued under this subsection expires on the fifty-sixth day after the order is issued. A second or subsequent suppression order may be obtained in the same manner as the initial suppression order and shall expire on a date specified in the order. This subsection and subsection (8) do not affect a person’s right to obtain a copy of a search warrant affidavit from the prosecuting attorney or law enforcement agency under the freedom of information act, 1976 PA 442, MCL 15.231 to 15.246. MCL 780.651 (9)

SECTION 9 SPECIFICALLY STATES IT DOES NOT APPLY TO MY FOIA CASES AND BOTH THE OAKLAND COUNTY PROSECUTOR AND THE 48TH DISTRICT COURT HAVE SUCCESSFULLY REFUSED TO DISCUSS THIS ASPECT OF MY CASE WITH ME.

In addition, Section 9 of the Michigan Search Warrant Statue also contains language suppressing the access to Search Warrant and Search Warrant Affidavits. All of the Search Warrant information is suppressed for 56 days. If the prosecutor wants to extend it beyond 56 days it must file a renewal order within the previous 56 day period. If no 56 day renewal order is entered the information is available to the public on the 57th day. The Statute does not contain any language allowing any public body to file subsequent suppression orders after the first 56 day period expires. I will discuss this further in chapter 11.

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OCCK

Prologue

My eleven-year-old son, Timothy, was abducted in Oakland County on March 16, 1977, and his body was found in Wayne County in a roadside ditch on March 22, 1977. In response to my Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) lawsuit against the Michigan State Police, I learned after December 15, 2010 that Tim had been sexually abused. Furthermore, Tim had been suffocated by someone who held both his nose and mouth shut. Tim died in his hands. I cannot imagine a more heinous death.

After the death of Kristine Michelich, the third victim, my children recall a discussion I had with Tim. He was told not to accept a ride from a stranger. If anyone tried to force him to enter a car, he was instructed to drop anything he was carrying, run and scream. During the six days he was alive, I am certain he knew what would happen.

In July 2007, Tim’s sister, Cathy Broad, advised the Livonia Police Department in Wayne County of an unidentified suspect. Detective Cory Williams of the Livonia Police Department, and Detective Sergeant Garry Gray of the Michigan State Police, identified this suspect as Christopher Busch on November 30, 2007. Williams and Gray later identified the possible participation of two of Busch’s companions, Gregory Greene and Vince Gunnels. Thereafter the King family received encouraging reports on the Busch involvement from law enforcement. To my surprise, my friend, Donald Studt, now Birmingham Chief of Police, called me on March 1, 2010 at the request of Jessica Cooper, the Oakland County Prosecutor, to advise me that Christopher Busch and his companions were no longer suspects. When no one would tell me the basis for this conclusion, I commenced FOIA lawsuits against both the Michigan State Police and the Oakland County Prosecutor. Jessica Cooper and her staff have refused to talk to me about the March 1, 2010 conclusions. Thus far her silence has been supported by the Oakland County Circuit Court and the Michigan Court of Appeals.

The King family and the families of Mark Stebbins, Jill Robinson and Kristine Mihelich, the other three OCCK victims, deserve an explanation from the responsible public officials regarding the investigation of these murders. In particular, your local prosecutor should not have dictatorial powers to close investigation of valid suspects without explanation. The Michigan Constitution states that crime victims have a right to confer with the prosecutor (Article I, Section 24). Why should anyone submit a valid suspect to law enforcement if the local prosecutor can refuse to take action for undisclosed reasons? If the reasons are professional, even Jessica Cooper has gone public to explain her reasoning. However, if the reasons are political, personal, power in control or other nonprofessional reasons, all of which may be present in the OCCK case, silence does not protect the victims or the public. I welcome your thoughts and responses but request that you complete the entire story before making interim replies.

In 2008, both Wayne and Oakland County identified Christopher Busch as the best suspect the system had produced in over 30 years. The Christopher Busch lead was the result of the phone call my daughter made to the Livonia Police Department in 2009 with information on an unidentified suspect. Cory Williams of the Livonia Police Department and Gregory Greene of the Michigan State Police identified this suspect as Christopher Busch.

My Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Michigan State Police resulted in the delivery of 3,411 pages on the Christopher Busch investigation. However, the legal system has told me that the Oakland County Prosecutor has no responsibility to provide information supporting her March 1, 2010 phone call.

Last summer I decided to use social media to tell my story. This was awkward because of my limited knowledge of this new communication system. I would like to thank those youngsters (age 60 and under) for the education provided to me regarding this publication.

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