A case of murder or self-defense?

By Charles Sercombe

The circumstances behind the grizzly death of a 24-year-old man last Saturday morning are still unclear.

But this much we do know: Hamtramck police are still seeking charges for four suspects in connection with the murder of Joseph King of Detroit. King bled to death on Conant Ave. after his throat had been slashed.

Police are not releasing the names of the suspects until they are charged. The suspects had been held in custody over the weekend, but police were forced to release them on Monday because the law requires charges to be filed within 72 hours.

As the days go by, it’s becoming less clear whether the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office will authorize any charges.
According to friends and supporters of the suspects, it was King who was the aggressor, and the suspects acted in self-defense.

Detective John Aiello said he’s heard a lot of speculation from friends of the suspects but cautioned: “You have to take it with a grain of salt.”

According to police, the four suspects had left Small’s Bar a t about 3 a.m. when they encountered King. Police say a fight broke out that involved knives. Police would not comment on how the incident started.

Detective Aiello said he expects to have arrest warrants sometime this week.

“We’re still getting information,” Aiello said.

Police initially said they were investigating evidence that suggested the matter could also be considered a hate crime. The four suspects are white and King is African-American.

Aiello said that race doesn’t appear to be a factor.

“But information could come forward and change our mind,” Aiello said.

The suspects are not Hamtramck residents and range in age from 20s to 40s.

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