By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers
LINCOLN PARK – Three men will face a jury trial in October and may spend 15 years in prison if convicted of abducting a 90-year-old man from a local nursing home.
The three were arraigned Thursday before Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Carole Youngblood on charges of unlawful imprisonment and adult abuse. Prosecutors allege that Detroit resident Darrell Howard, 50, Ted Robert Tomes, 25 of Ypsilanti, and 54-year-old resident Alfred Khattar — Tomes’ father — abducted Floyd Edward Pickrell on July 19.
The case drew regional attention for several days when Pickrell’s whereabouts were unknown. According to police reports – which Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy described as reading like the script “of a bad movie” – two of the three defendants signed Pickrell out for dinner from Regency Health Care, 12575 Telegraph. Security cameras recorded images of two men lifting Pickrell over a wall.
Pickrell was missing until July 22, when a civilian tip directed police to an Ypsilanti hotel room, where the elderly man suffering from dementia was found and returned to the foster home.
The day before, police arrested Howard and charged him in district court with unlawful imprisonment, a 15-year felony. While in custody, Howard did not tell police where Pickrell was being kept.
On July 23 Khattar and Tomes were taken into custody and similarly charged. All told, the three face charges of unlawful imprisonment, conspiracy to commit unlawful imprisonment, also a 15-year-felony, and second degree abuse of a vulnerable adult, a four-year felony.
Prosecutors claim that the victim frequented a doughnut shop owned by Khattar, and that the trio planned to kidnap Pickrell for his money.
All three remain in custody. Bond motions are to be addressed Thursday and a final conference is scheduled for Sept. 30 before the anticipated Oct. 17 trial.
(James Mitchell can be reached at [email protected])