Circuit Court LC No. 15-001383-FC
Before: Talbot, C.J., and Jansen and Hoekstra, JJ.
convicted defendant of second-degree murder, MCL 750.317,
three counts of assault with intent to commit murder (AWIM),
MCL 750.83, two counts of assault with intent to do great
bodily harm less than murder (AWIGBH), MCL 750.84, felon in
possession of a firearm, MCL 750.224f, and possession of a
firearm during the commission of a felony (felony-firearm),
MCL 750.227b. The trial court sentenced defendant as a
second-offense habitual offender, MCL 769.10, to 40 to 60
years' imprisonment for the second-degree murder
conviction, 18 to 30 years' imprisonment for each AWIM
conviction, 3 to 15 years' imprisonment for each AWIGBH
conviction, and 3 to 7 years' imprisonment for the
felon-in-possession conviction, and a two-year term of
imprisonment for the felony-firearm conviction. Defendant
appeals as of right. For the reasons explained in this
opinion, we affirm.
stood trial for the shooting death of three-year-old Amiracle
Williams, the nonfatal shooting of Frieda Tiggs, Demetrius
Williams, and Tkira Steen, and assaults on Chinetta Williams
and Johnetta Williams. The shootings stemmed from an argument
between teenaged Johnetta and her former friend, Lashay
Davis. On the day of the shooting, Lashay and several of her
supporters arrived at a home occupied by Amiracle and her
family. Lashay and Johnetta then engaged in a physical
altercation outside the house, which escalated to the point
that several young men and women joined in the fray.
Eventually, multiple gunshots were fired.
to the evidence, defendant brought a gun to the scene and he
fired several shots, including shots at the house occupied by
Amiracle, Demetrius, and Tkira. He also fired directly at
Frieda while she lay on the ground and defendant fired in the
direction of Chinetta and Johnetta while they were outside
the home. Amiracle was tragically shot and killed during
these events, and Demetrius, Tkira, and Frieda all suffered
gunshot wounds. After the shooting, defendant fled the scene
with others, he stated that he shot "the momma and the
daughter, " and he gave a backpack containing his gun to
a neighbor. Given evidence that others at the scene also
fired shots, the prosecutor presented alternative theories
based on defendant's guilt as either a principal or an
aider or abettor. The jury convicted defendant as noted
above. Defendant now appeals as of right.
first argues that the trial court abused its discretion when
it granted the prosecutor's request to dismiss a witness
detainer for defendant's girlfriend, Brittany Dawning,
who was also present at the scene of the shooting. More
fully, defendant argues that Dawning was an endorsed witness
that the prosecutor was obligated to produce for trial
pursuant to MCL 767.40a(3). At a minimum, defendant contends
that, if the prosecutor could not produce Dawning, the trial
court should have given a missing witness instruction. In
contrast, the prosecutor maintains on appeal that Dawning was
an "and/or, " i.e., "an alternative witness,
meaning that the prosecutor never guaranteed she would be
called." Because she was not "expressly"
endorsed, the prosecutor maintains-and the trial court
agreed-that Dawning could be removed from the witness list
without a showing of good cause. Alternatively, the
prosecutor argues on appeal that there was good cause for
deleting Dawning from the witness list and that, in any
event, defendant is not entitled to relief on appeal because
he has not shown prejudice.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
review a trial court's decision to permit the prosecutor
to add or delete witnesses for an abuse of discretion.
People v Callon, 256 Mich.App. 312, 326; 662 N.W.2d
501 (2003). "A trial court abuses its discretion when
its decision falls outside the range of reasonable and
principled outcomes." People v Yost, 278
Mich.App. 341, 379; 749 N.W.2d 753 (2008). A trial court
necessarily abuses its discretion when it makes an error of
law. People v Al-Shara, 311 Mich.App. 560, 566; 876
N.W.2d 826 (2015). An abuse of discretion may also occur when
a trial court "operates within an incorrect legal
framework." People v Hine, 467 Mich. 242,
250-251; 650 N.W.2d 659 (2002).
comparison, statutory interpretation presents a question of
law that this Court reviews de novo. People v
Steele, 283 Mich.App. 472, 482; 769 N.W.2d 256 (2009).
"Our purpose when interpreting a statute is to determine
and give effect to the Legislature's intent."
People v Armstrong, 305 Mich.App. 230, 243; 851
N.W.2d 856 (2014). "We begin by examining the plain
language of the statute; where that language is unambiguous,
we presume that the Legislature intended the meaning clearly
expressed-no further judicial construction is required or
permitted, and the statute must be enforced as written."
People v Barrera, 278 Mich.App. 730, 736; 752 N.W.2d
485 (2008) (citation omitted).
prosecutor's obligation to identify and produce witnesses
is governed by MCL 767.40a, which, in relevant part, states:
(1) The prosecuting attorney shall attach to the filed
information a list of all witnesses known to the prosecuting
attorney who might be called at trial and all res gestae
witnesses known to the prosecuting attorney or investigating
law enforcement officers.
(2) The prosecuting attorney shall be under a continuing duty
to disclose the names of any further res gestae witnesses as
they become known.
(3)Not less than 30 days before the trial, the prosecuting
attorney shall send to the defendant or his or her attorney a
list of the witnesses the prosecuting ...