WWMT Newschannel 3 - Search Results
No decision until August as to whether man will stand trial in Interfaith fire deaths
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - A Kalamazoo man facing felony child abuse charges following an apartment fire that killed three of his girlfriend's children appeared in court Monday.
19-year-old Fred Glespie was charged with four counts of second degree child abuse as well as three counts of involuntary manslaughter.
Investigators say he acted recklessly when he left Jonetta Woods' four young children alone at Interfaith Apartments back in February.
A fire then broke out, killing three of the kids.
The oldest of the siblings, a 4-year-old girl, was the only one able to escape.
Jonetta Woods testified about the events of that day during Monday’s hearing, which was to find out if there's enough evidence to send Glespie to trial. Glespie himself also testified.
Both told very different versions of what happened that day and the confusion means the judge wants more time to sort it all out.
The judge in the case says that a decision will not be made until August 14th as to whether or not Glespie will stand trial.
Taking the stand first was Jonetta Woods, the mother of three-year-old Tevin and Tenaya Williams and of one-year-old Ty’onna Henderson.
Woods says she left the children in the care of her then-boyfriend, Fred Glespie.
“Was there ever a time that morning or during the time before the fire that you asked anything of Mr. Glespie concerning the kids?” asked Woods’ lawyer.
“I asked him can he watch them,” said Woods.
“And what was his response?” asked the lawyer.
“Yes,” said Woods.
Woods says she then went to a friend’s house.
“I went across the way to give my friend five dollars,” said Woods. “I was on my way out the door and ran across the field and my sister was like, ‘fire, fire, your house on fire and then Fred and Tone they on my heels.”
Woods says she then tried to get inside the burning apartment.
“I was trying to go in there and get my kids,’ said Woods.
“How did you go about that?” asked the lawyer.
“Tried to open the door and the fire blew me back,” said Woods.
As for Glespie, he has said that he left the apartment right after Woods went to her friend’s house. He maintains that he was not asked to watch the children.
The lead detective in the case has interviewed Glespie multiple times. At Monday’s hearing he said that Glespie had told him that “he had left the apartment, went to a sister’s apartment and got some change and then bought a DVD or CD or something like that.”
When Glespie’s attorney was up, he asked Jonetta Woods the same questions.
“When you went to give your friend five dollars, who do you think was watching the kids?” asked Glespie’s lawyer.
“Fred,” said Woods.
“Is that because you asked him to do it?” asked the lawyer.
“Yes,” said Woods.
“Did he say he would watch them?” asked the lawyer.
“Yes, he said it,” said Woods.
Again, the prosecution is seeking three counts of involuntary manslaughter and four counts of second degree child abuse against Glespie. The decision as to whether or not he will stand trial will be made on August 14th.