DEARBORN — After an intensive investigation, four arrests have been made in connection with the July 15th homicide of 45 year-old Hassan Jaber of Dearborn, who was found dead in his home after a concerned neighbor went to go check on him. While the arrests have brought some relief to the family, there are still questions that need to be answered.
Over the weekend, Dearborn police arrested the following people who were each arraigned Monday on charges of Felony Murder, punishable by life in prison without the possibility of parole, Armed Robbery and Conspiracy to Commit Armed Robbery, both punishable by life or any number of years in prison: Charles Jackson 26, of Detroit; Zelda Taylor, 28, of Detroit; Iashia Knox, 28, of Detroit; and Kristen Holmes, 28, of Detroit. All four suspects have currently been remanded to the Wayne County Jail and have been denied bond.
Dearborn Chief of Police, Ronald Haddad, stated: "As promised at the start of this investigation, our investigators were relentless in the pursuit of suspects and evidence in this case. This case was especially heinous in that the victim was murdered in his own home, a place where we expect to feel safe and secure. Since the start of this investigation, the Dearborn Police Department was committed and our investigators relentless in following leads and evidence that culminated in the arrest of four individuals. I am extremely proud of the specialized and highly technical effort of the Detective Division. There was naturally a lot of community concern in this case and I want to commend the Dearborn and Detroit communities for the assistance we received in this investigation. Also, with these arrests it is our hope that the victim's family finds peace and closure for their loss."
Jaber's family, who held his memorial services over the weekend at the Islamic Center of America on Ford Rd, are still in shock over his death. They say Jaber spent most of his life being a harmless, hard-working man who never had any enemies.
"He was a lovely person... a very quiet and very peaceful man. He never did anything wrong and has never done harm to anyone, including himself. He didn't even smoke or drink coffee. He was just a hard-working man," stated Houda Jaber, his sister.
Lieutenant Doug Topolski from the Dearborn Police Department, who was one of the detectives on the case, has confirmed that the incident was not a random robbery, and that the four suspects knew Jaber prior to the murder.
"We can't get into the details due to the integrity of the investigation, but I can tell you it wasn't a random incident," Lieutenant Topolski stated.
Lieutenant Topolski believes the four suspects killed Jaber sometime between Thursday, July 12 and Saturday, July 14, well before neighbor Hussein Wazne went to go check on him for not showing up to finish a construction job on his house around 8 pm that Sunday. Evidence might also suggest that not all four suspects were in Jaber's house when the murder occurred, but they were all involved somehow.
As far as residents who are concerned over their neighborhoods and whether more incidents could occur, Lieutenant Topolski hopes that there should be no reason to worry.
"No crime is acceptable, but I would certainly say that the neighborhoods are still as safe as they would've been had this not occurred. This is in no way a sign of trends in a neighborhood," Topolski added.
According to Houda Jaber, her brother had been living in the U.S. since 2000. First he resided with his family before moving into the home on Williamson St, where the murder occurred, about five years ago. He had planned on flying to his home country in Lebanon to get engaged in September. She says her brother was a self employed construction worker who might have hired employees to work with him from time to time. The family believes the suspects might've known Jaber through construction work, but nothing is confirmed.
While she didn't know the exact details in the case, she did say her brother was struck in the head by a tree branch, and that Jaber's laptop, cell phone and truck keys were obtained by the four suspects. Houda says the family hopes the four suspects recieve the maximum punishment as the family is still having a difficult time coping with his death.
"I wish there was the death penalty in Michigan, but unfortunately there isn't. They all deserve beyond a life sentencing," Houda stated. "It's very, very hard. Only God knows what we have been going through. We still can't believe he is gone."
All four suspects are expected to make their next court appearance on August 3rd at 9:00 am in courtroom 1 of the 19th District Court.