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Suspect Arraigned in Family Dollar Double Murder

Lavere Bryant of Dearborn is accused of killing Joseph Orlando and Brenna Machus on July 15.

Lavere Bryant of Dearborn listens to Chief Judge Sam Salamey during his arraignment hearing in the 19th District Court on Wednesday. Photo Credit: Daniel Lai.
Lavere Bryant of Dearborn listens to Chief Judge Sam Salamey during his arraignment hearing in the 19th District Court on Wednesday. Photo Credit: Daniel Lai.
DEARBORN — A 34-year-old man accused in the shooting death of two Family Dollar employees remains without bond at the Wayne County jail after he was formally charged Wednesday with capital murder.

Lavere Bryant of Dearborn entered a plea of not guilty in front of 19th District Court Chief Judge Sam Salamey. Bryant faces two counts of first degree murder, two counts of felony murder, one count unlawful imprisonment, one count armed robbery, and one count felon in possession of a firearm and felony firearm.

Joseph Orlando, 20, was fatally shot inside the Dearborn store on the evening of July 15. His coworker, Brenna Kathleen Machus, was missing and the store had been robbed. Police discovered the body of Machus in a wooded area about two miles from the store last Thursday.

If convicted, Bryant faces life without parole for each of the four homicide charges. Bryant could also face up to 50 years and a $20,000 fine for abducting Machus from store. If convicted of the felony firearm charge, he faces up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

During the pretrial hearing, Salamey disclosed that Bryant is being charged under Michigan's habitual offender statute. The law allows for certain repeat felony offenders in Michigan to be sentenced to a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years in prison if convicted four times.

Bryant was previously convicted of criminal sexual conduct in August 1999 and assault with intent to do great bodily harm in August 2001. As a result of the convictions, Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor Danielle Hagaman-Clark requested the court to deny bond. A request to seal the court records for the case was also granted.

Throughout the hearing, Bryant remained silent except to ask the judge for a court-appointed attorney and to request that his address be kept from the media. He also informed the court that he had not received a copy of the arrest warrant.

While exiting the courtroom, Bryant stated, "I did not murder anybody."

A preliminary exam is scheduled for July 31 at 8:30 a.m. in front of Salamey.

Dearborn Police Chief Ronald Haddad expressed gratitude to the press and the public for information that led to the arrest of Bryant.

"This is a case where clearly there are no winners, all losers. I feel that the public can rest easier tonight because it will be a safer place," he said.

"I would like to express my profound appreciation to our local, county, state and federal law enforcement partners who participated in the well-coordinated investigation that led to this arrest. I would also like to recognize the many members of the community who called in with tips, and the extensive media coverage, all of which directly contributed to solving this case."
Dearborn Taxpayer July 25, 2013 at 07:46 AM
Why was this "repeat offender" out on the streets? If on parole, did his parole officer have a current address? I'm hoping that DPD and other law enforcement agencies have a list of violent crime convicts who are living in our city!
Suzanne Marie July 25, 2013 at 10:29 AM
Hmmmm, the 500 lb. elephant is in the room but the media chooses to ignore it. Why is it if one race is accused of murdering someone from another race it is called a "hate crime" yet turn that around and its called "a random act of violence"? I would also like to note that the murder of these two young people who were working and contributing to society was committed right after the Martin/Zimmerman verdict was rendered.
Carla O'Neill July 25, 2013 at 02:02 PM
Michigan employers get tax breaks for hiring ex-felons. http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mdcr/HiringPeoplewithCriminalRecords2010brochure_333180_7.pdf http://www.michigan.gov/uia/0,4680,7-118--78849--,00.html These two sites are just the tip of the iceberg. Too bad employers don't get tax breaks for hiring those of us without criminal records.
Carla O'Neill July 25, 2013 at 02:05 PM
The link to the first website should be: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mdcr/HiringPeoplewithCriminalRecords2010brochure_333180_7.pdf
edward binkley July 26, 2013 at 02:30 PM
criminals are living everywhere in the city i feel that the city should not of cut the 19 open slots off the budget for police officers that they should of hired at the 19 partime and swithced schedules around to include nights you see more police during the daytime than you do at night and i walk the streets so i know. same thing for the parking meter maids see tem more often in the day time. we should go back to hubbards years when the cops had to make sure the bussiness were safe when they we closeing ride there bikes or even walk a beat on michigan ave

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