Four will go on trial for Clinton Township store owner's murder

By Roger Weber, Local 4 Reporter, @RogerWLocal4, rogerw@wdiv.com
Published On: Aug 06 2014 10:01:49 AM EDT
Updated On: Jul 08 2014 04:45:30 AM EDT

The alleged gunman claims that he believed the safety was on and that the murder wasn't intentional.

CLINTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. -

After being arrested for the murder of Clinton Township party store owner Basil Sulaka, all four defendants made statements to police.

Detectives say 24-year-old Darius Diaz Gaskin admitted to being the trigger man, but denied that the March 28 shooting was intentional.

"In his words, he was going to try to hit him with the gun, but he didn't know he had his finger on the trigger and he also stated he thought he had the safety on," said Det. Dan Quinn, of Clinton Township police.

Quinn was testifying during a preliminary hearing on Monday in which all four defendants were bound over for trial. Investigators say 24-year-old Clinton Rayshawn Grayson also had a gun and Jomar Robinson was the so-called "bag man."

Cameras at Sulaka's Moon Lite Party Store recorded the 1 minute and 45 seconds that three of the defendants were inside the place. Sulaka's family and friends struggled to control their emotions as the video showed the store owner being shot in the back.

Defendant Kenneth Hill allegedly parked his car on a street near the store and waited for the others. After the shooting, they returned to his apartment.

"He said that they were very upset. They began arguing, blaming each other for the shooting," said Quinn.

They each allegedly took $200 from the robbery.

Much of the testimony centered on whether police may have violated the constitutional rights of the defendants while taking their statement.

"He made the best request he could at the very beginning of his interrogation by the police, saying, 'Do you think I should consult counsel,'" said David Cripps, attorney for Robinson.

The defendants are charged with identical counts of felony murder, armed robbery, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, and felony firearm.