By TEREASA NIMS
Sunday Times Newspapers
LINCOLN PARK – A 54-year-old restaurant co-owner was bound over to Wayne County Circuit Court for trial Dec. 6 in connection with a Detroit police officers’ death following a tumultuous preliminary exam.
Resident Steven P. Guzina, co-owner of Tijuana Mexican Restaurants, was bound over to circuit court by 36th District Court Judge Lydia Nance Adams. He is charged with four felonies including second-degree murder in the Oct. 28, death of Detroit Police Officer Myron Jarrett, 40.
Guzina is set for a 9 a.m. Dec. 13 hearing before Judge James A. Callahan. He remains jailed without bond.
Guzina’s attorney, Evan Callanan, asked for the preliminary examination of the evidence against Guzina to be adjourned because Guzina hired new council on the eve of the hearing. Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Molly Kettler said it was Guzina’s way of manipulating justice.
“We’re all here, we’re ready to go,” Kettler said, objecting to the adjournment motion, noting that there were six police officers and witnesses ready to testify.
Adams asked Guzina why he retained new council so late, and the defendant said he had been trying to raise the money and couldn’t until his best friend opted to help him out financially.
Adams denied Callanan’s request for adjournment.
“We’re all uncomfortable, but we have to move forward today,” Adams said, noting that there were too many man hours involved not to proceed as scheduled.
Three misdemeanor charges against Guzina were dropped as the prelim approached.
According to Detroit police, Jarrett was investigating a crash at Puritan and Monica streets when Guzina reportedly struck him and didn’t stop. Jarrett’s partner along with Officer Marvin Anthony rushed Jarrett to the hospital where he died.
Officers also testified that when they later located and arrested Guzina at a Grand River bus stop, he told them he went on an all-night crack cocaine bender. He reportedly made several stops in Detroit to get crack.
Guzina is charged with second-degree murder, operating under the influence causing death, failure to stop at the scene of an accident when at fault, and reckless driving causing death.
Guzina, who has no prior criminal record, is a co-owner of Tijuana Mexican Restaurants in Lincoln Park, Southgate and Detroit.
Jarrett’s family has filed a $15 million lawsuit against Guzina, according to court records. Attorney Mike Morse is handling that case.
(Tereasa Nims can be reached at [email protected])