BRIEF: Trial for Teen Accused of Murder Delayed

The defendant, accused of stabbing a West Bloomfield teenager last summer, remains at Children's Village in Pontiac.

PONTIAC — The trial for a in the of a West Bloomfield teenager has been moved to Dec. 5.

Johnathan Rickman, 17, was slain after a quarrel at a friend's house in West Bloomfield. Defense attorney Rowland Short explained that the trial, scheduled to begin Wednesday in front of Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Wendy Potts, was adjourned in order to complete discovery of all available evidence.

The defendant, whom Patch has not named because of his age, remains at Children's Village in Pontiac.

"(Dec. 5) is a firm trial date, and I don't expect it to change," Short said via text message Thursday. "We're looking forward to presenting our case to the jury. Obviously, these families have experienced tremendous hardship as a result of these unforeseeable events."

Potts, a judge in the court's civil/criminal division, will serve as a family court judge in the matter.

If the defendant is convicted by a 12-person jury, Potts can determine whether the accused will be sentenced as an adult, juvenile or receive some form of blended sentence. The jury will determine the degree of the murder charge. The defendant will be tried on an open murder charge as well as for assault with a deadly or dangerous weapon.

If he is sentenced as a juvenile, he can be held in a facility only until he is 21. But if he is sentenced as an adult, he faces life in prison.


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