By J. PATRICK PEPPER
DEARBORN — Last week Wayne County prosecutors charged a local man in connection with the brutal Dec. 8 stabbing death of 32-year-old Christopher Cser.
In 19th District Court on Thursday, Shannon Maurice Holmes pleaded innocent to one count of first-degree murder. He also was charged with being a habitual offender with prior felon convictions. If convicted, Holmes faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison.
Following the recommendation of police investigators, who said Holmes was a “danger to the public,” Judge Mark Somers denied bond for him. Detective Sgt. Ken Muscat said at the arraignment that medical examiners found at least 35 stab wounds in the Cser’s body.
“Some of these wounds were nonfatal and described by the coroner as ‘torture wounds,’” Muscat said.
While police have yet to release official reports from the incident, a press release said officers were dispatched to a house in the 22600 block of Outer Drive, near Southfield Freeway, about 11:30 p.m. Dec. 8. Emergency responders transported Cser to Oakwood Hospital & Medical Center, where he later was pronounced dead.
Police said Holmes was apprehended easily, thanks to footprints in a fresh coat of snow that led from Cser’s house to the house of Holmes’ live-in girlfriend, one block west on Outer Drive. Cser, who was married and had a son, was home alone at the time of the alleged murder, police said.
Police sources indicated that Holmes and Cser were occasional drinking buddies, but hadn’t spoken in a while. Police said they haven’t determined a motive.
Following the arraignment, family members of Cser and Holmes were in shock. Cser’s father-in-law, Bennie Mitchell, said his family was trying to come to terms with the sudden reality that Cser no longer would be around.
“You could call him any time and say, ‘Hey, I need a hand with this or that,’ and he would be right there, no questions asked,” Mitchell said of Cser, a self-employed handyman. “Chris was just a great guy.”
Holmes’ sisters, Tisha Holmes and Dana Moss, expressed disbelief that their brother, a man they described as a loving uncle and father figure to his girlfriend’s children, could commit such a heinous crime.
“This is just not in his character at all,” Moss said. “We love him. We know that he is not a murderer.”
Holmes’ next day in court is Dec. 18 for a preliminary hearing of the evidence against him.