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157200 - People v Romon Berry McBurrows

The People of the State of Michigan,

 

Michael Brown

 

Plaintiff-Appellant,

 

v

(Appeal from Ct of Appeals)

 

 

(Monroe – White, D.)

 

Romon Berry McBurrows,

 

Noel Erinjeri

 

Defendant-Appellee.

 

Summary

Defendant was charged in Monroe County with delivery of a controlled substance causing death, MCL 750.317a, based on allegations that he delivered fentanyl-laced heroin to a middleman in Wayne County, who sold the heroin to a buyer who consumed the substance and died in Monroe County. Defendant moved to dismiss the charge, claiming that Monroe County lacked “jurisdiction” to charge him. The prosecution countered that venue was proper under MCL 762.5 because delivery of the controlled substance was a mortal wound or poisoning, and venue was also proper under MCL 762.8 because two elements of the offense—consumption and death—occurred in Monroe County. The trial court denied the motion to dismiss, agreeing with the prosecution that venue was proper in Monroe County because it was the location where a mortal wound was inflicted. In a published opinion, the Court of Appeals reversed, holding that the statute under which defendant was charged, MCL 750.317a, was merely a sentencing enhancement statute, and that the only alleged criminal act committed by defendant occurred in Wayne County. The Court of Appeals further held that venue was not proper under MCL 762.5 because there was no evidence that defendant inflicted a mortal wound or administered a poison. The Supreme Court has directed oral argument on the prosecution’s application for leave to appeal to address whether Monroe County is a proper venue for the charge against defendant of delivery of a controlled substance causing death, MCL 750.317a.​