Detroit MI March 8 2015
— A second man convicted in the murder of one of the city’s most well-known anti-crime crusaders was sentenced Friday to at least 371
years in prison.
Michael Lawson was found guilty in December of killing Marcel Jackson, a member of the crime-fighting community group Detroit 300. Jackson, a 39-year-old married father of six, was shot to death in June 2012 while working as a security officer for the downtown Pandemonium nightclub.
Lawson was sentenced to 371
to 75 years in prison, according to Mark Bernardi, a spokesman for the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office. He was convicted of second-degree murder while another man, Carl Bruner, was convicted of first-degree murder and was sentenced last month to life in prison.
The murder was “shocking, outrageous and more than sad,” Wayne County Circuit Judge Craig Strong said at Bruner’s sentencing.
“It’s a senseless killing of a man who was loved by his family … who was trying to do the right thing.”
Lawson’s sentencing was postponed to Friday because his attorney had surgery and was not able to read the presentence report, according to attorney David Steingold, who stood in for Lawson’s attorney last month.
Bruner, who gave the Jackson family his condolences, said in court, “I did not commit this crime.” Bruner said he is not the same height as the man police were looking for and he was not in the club around the time the dispute erupted.
“I’m being framed for this crime,” said Bruner, who added he grew up with the Jackson family. He said he plans to appeal.
Before Bruner was sentenced, Jackson’s widow, Hollie, and Jackson’s mother, Carolyn Warrior, spoke. The two women cried and held each other up as they spoke of the pain of losing Jackson.
“Marcel was a great father and a great man who would give you the shirt off his back,” Hollie Jackson said. “I don’t have any hatred in my heart for any one of them. I just want them to realize what they took away from my home and this community.”
Warrior said her son was a protector and a peacemaker who gave up some of his family time to canvass Detroit streets to rid the city of crime “because he loved the city so much.”
Warrior said her heart goes out to Bruner, whom she “loved like a son.” She said her heart also goes out to his mother and family.
“I lost a son. They lost a son as well,” she said.
The night he was killed, Jackson reportedly had removed a man, who authorities identified as Bruner, from Pandemonium for hitting a woman. The man returned to the bar after closing, allegedly to retrieve his cellphone, but security guards would not let him back inside because he refused to be patted down for possible weapons.
The man returned with someone else and fired shots. Jackson was wounded in the back and died at Detroit Receiving Hospital.
Bruner and Lawson were arrested after a two-year investigation.
Following Bruner’s sentencing, Strong warned parents in the courtroom to be sure their children make smart decisions and stay out of trouble.
Strong said “we gotta keep our children close” as he spoke about seeing the “same people” who show up in his courtroom and others committing crimes.