The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 7, 2000 - 11A
Judge throws out c arges against se
DEARBORN (AP) - A judge threw out an " * "
againstuasecurityguardcwhowae accued mR Ju
involuntary manslaughter charge yesterday u
the death of a man who was nuit in a hold out- igctslc fe ie c n.~
side a Lord & Taylor department store.
Dennis, Richardson was accused of choking
! Frdrick Finley on June 22. after Richardson
and other guards confronted him in the park-
ing lot of the Fairlane Town Center in this
Detroit suburb. If he had been charged and
convicted, he would have faced up to 15 years
District Judge Virginia Sobotka ruled there
was insufficient evidence for Richardson to
stand trial. Richardson showed little emotion
as the judge issued her ruling. He shook
hands with his attorney and hugged some
. family members.
"His family's very grateful. His mother
prayed a lot about it," defense attorney Gerald
Evelyn said after the ruling. "It was a very
thorough, clear, well thought-out decision and
I think it would be very hard to appeal."
Sobotka found that the medical evidence
choking death at Lord & Taylor sto
was not enough to say Finley died of asphyxi-
ation. She said the confrontation may have
triggered heart failure because Finley had an
A Wayne County medical examiner testi-
fied that internal bruising and discoloration
of the head and neck led him to conclude
Finley died of asphyxia. But another medical
examiner testified Finley died of heart fail-
Ure. He based his conclusion on Finley's
abnormally large heart and lungs, which
were filled with fluid, a sign of the heart fail-
ing as a pump.
Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Kevin
Simowski said he would appeal the judge's
"We respectfully disagree with Judge
Sobotka's opinion," Simowski said. "Both
medical examiners said this was a homicide."
The guards suspected Finley's girlfriend's
11-year-old daughter of shoplifting. Accord-
ing to police reports, the guards said Finley
threw a punch, was dropped to the ground and
put in a choke hold by Richardson.
Activists have alleged that the incident
had racial overtones: Since Finley's death,
they have staged protests against Lord &
Taylor, accusing it of having black security
workers scrutinize minority shoppers to
avoid the appearance of discrimination or
Richardson is black, as was Finley. The
company has denied engaging in ar
Attorney Geoffrey Fieger, who is
ing Finley's family in a lawsuit ag
& Taylor's parent company, said
refused to follow the law in issuing1
"You strangle a man jo death ar
away with it. That's ridiculous," Fief
Detroit radio s'tation WWJ shortl
Joi Cobb, a social worker who isl
she was surprised Sobotka thre
"I think they should have look
into it. There should be someone
his murder," Cobb, of River Rouge
side the department store where Finley ied.
ie 1 have no idea why the judge threw it t. I
don't think there was nothing racist ab t it.
Actually, I thought he would be fend
) Bob Humphres, who is white, said Ric rd-
son was just doing his job.
"All he was doing was holding th uy
ny form of back. He wasn't choking shim. Do yo uow
how much you have to choke a guy t kill
represent- him?",said Humphres, of Dearborn. '
ainst Lord At the guard's preliminary hearjn last
the judge week, Simowski said that Richardson eld
her ruling. Finley in the hold after Finley became re-
nd you get sponsive.
ger said on But Evelyn said nobody testifiedihat
y after the Richardson choked Finley. Evelyn said seguri-
ty guards were reacting to Finley, whi the
black, said defense attorney said was the aggressor. 0
w out the Richardson was charged July 6, a day fter
an estimated 5,000 to 10,000 protesters IV by
ed further the Rev. Al Sharpton rallied outside thel ord
guilty of & Taylor department store at Fairlane %wn
, said out- Center.
DETROIT (AP) - Its Mediter-
ranean theme evident from the two
beauties parading as Greek god-
desses to a glowing Olympic torch,
Greektown Casino was unveiled to
reporters yesterday by investors
with Herculean expectations.
Never mind that the gambling
hall could be two months from
opening as the city's third tempo-
rary casino. Those behind the
Greektown site insist the casino's
more or less a go, and worked yes-
terday to prove it.
"We have something for every
taste," William Paulos, head of the
management firm overseeing the
casino, told Mayor Dennis Archer
while leading a tour. "We wanted
to give Detroiters as much of a
potpourri as they can have."
On Tuesday, the regulatory Michi-
gan Gaming Control Board ruled the
casino's investors suitable, paving the
way for the panel's consideration in
early November whether to license
the gambling hall. Such a vote won't
come until the 2,400-worker casino
is deemed ready to open.
Confident the license is immi-
State hears argument fo
* State's revised plan would open "The danger with open competition would be splitt
competition if current providers cannot services under different providers," said Glenn St
meet new requirements director of the state Bureau of Quality Manageme
LANSING (AP) - Sandy Libstorff told state health Under the revised plan, the state will fully open co
officials yesterday about the educators and mental tion in areas where county mental health boards'c
health advocates in Monroe County who helped bring meet new requirements, including the ability to s
home her 15-year-old autistic son after two years of least 20,000 Medicaid recipients.
treatment, Mark Reinstein, public policy director for the '
A private company providing mental health services Health Association, called the department's plan disap
in Monroe would not have been able to offer the ser- ing and inadequate. He said open competition
vices Libstorff's son, Dustin, requires to live at home, improve mental health services.
she told state Department of Community Health offi- "Our public mental health system will not improv
cials at a public hearing about its revised mental health time if its service managers continue to have a guar
plan. or quasi-guaranteed monopoly over that function, kn
"The bottom line is that care must be there for the next performance problems will have little practicalc
Dustin who comes along," she told the auditorium filled quence," Reinstein said.
with mental health officials and advocates. Although the plan covers substance abuse servi
Libstorff supports the state's revised plan for mental number of people complained at the public hearing
health services that would open competition to outside the absence of information about changes to the state'
providers if county boards, which currently provide ser- stance abuse network in the plan.
vices, cannot meet new requirements. Mary Kronquist, an advocate for substance abuse
She joined dozens of other speakers who questioned ment and a recovering addict, said she wants to mak(
whether the department would be able to convince the fed- women today have access to the same services that'
eral Health Care Financing Administration that open com- her 16 years ago.
petition is not a good idea in Michigan. "My hope is that today if a young woman ... want
The federal government has asked the state to open com- range of services I had for the length of time I need
petition beyond the 49 county-sponsored Community Men- would find it available for her," said Kronquist, o
tal health Services Programs currently providing prepaid Lansing.
health plans for Medicaid recipients. Several people said the final version of the state's
The state revised its original plan, which would have which has to be submitted by Oct. 1, should include
allowed open competition, after hundreds of people testified kind of oversight for the county boards and mandate
at public hearings last year about being uncomfortable increase for mental health care givers.
receiving mental health care outside the county mental The Department of Community Health will conti
health boards. take written comment about its plan until Sept. 22.
Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer (right) gets a tour of the Greektown Casino from
William Paulos of Millennium Management during a media tour yesterday.
nent, the casino's investors have
scheduled the opening for Nov. 10.
It "took many turns along the
way, but the end result is we're
here," said Bernard Bouschor,
chairman of the Upper Peninsula's
Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippe-
wa Indians, the S147-million casi-
no's principle owner. "This is a
great day for the city of Detroit."
Said Archer; "I think anyone see-
ing this facility for the first time
would have to acknoledge how'
attractive it is, inside and out."
As the 75,000-square-foot casino's
neon lights dazzled outside, visitors
of the site's interior yesterday got a
feel for its Mediterranean charms,
reflected in murals, detailing and
There's the typical casino fare,
from the 2,400 slot machines --
many for now bearing only blue-
screen "Out of Service" displays
-- to 104 table games from craps
to blackjack and Roulette.