Teen stabbing suspect appears in court in death of older boy outside West Bloomfield home

WEST BLOOMFIELD, Mich. (WXYZ) - Video showing part of a stabbing attack that took the life of 17-year-old Johnathan Rickman is expected to be played in court Friday.

The preliminary examination for the 15-year-old suspect began Tuesday.

A teenager testified for the prosecution in court. The teen said shortly before the stabbing, Rickman and the suspect argued in the kitchen of a West Bloomfield home where friends had gathered.

The teen witness told the judge that Rickman began to walk away, but then turned around and punched the suspect in the face several times and walked out.

As Rickman was walking to his vehicle, the witness testified that the teenage suspect ran after Rickman with a knife, swinging at him.

A neighbor's surveillance cameras captured the stabbing of the West Bloomfield 17-year-old on tape.

The neighbor told Action News he installed the cameras after several incidents at the home in question. The video is a wide shot and is jumpy, but you can still see the crime unfold.

The 15-year-old suspect, and the victim, 17-year-old Jonathan Rickman, can be seen coming out of the house on Rafford. Rickman appears to be moving quickly toward a black SUV across from the home. The suspect looks like he is chasing Rickman. Rickman takes a defensive position, putting his arms out.

The suspect ultimately lunges at him, which is when the stabbing occurs. Within a couple of seconds the black SUV takes off and is next seen at Henry Ford Hospital West Bloomfield.


Suspect Arraigned

A 10th grade student from Walled Lake Central has been arraigned on murder charges in the stabbing death of 17-year-old Johnathan Rickman.

The 15-year-old suspect is being designated as an adult, but the case will be tried in juvenile court. This means he could be sentenced as an adult if convicted. Action News is not releasing his name because of his age.

The suspect's mother tells Action News her son was bullied by Rickman, and this is a case of self-defense.

But the victim's mother says the two hardly knew each other.

Grief counselors were on hand at Walled Lake Western High School Monday to help students cope with Rickman's death. Rickman was a junior at Western.

The teen was murdered outside of a friend's house on Saturday night in West Bloomfield Township.

Police say Rickman got into fight with another male teenager after playing a game at the home. The teen allegedly followed Rickman to his vehicle and stabbed him in the chest.

In court Monday, prosecutors said they have reviewed video of the incident and that the supect was clearly the aggressor.

The suspect is also charged with assaulting Ronald Foster with a knife at the house.

Those who knew Rickman remember him as friendly and easy going.

"Just an average, 17-year-old. Pretty good kid," said friend Tyler Attisha.

"I know him very well. He's really kind and nice. It's just very shocking," said a neighbor.

The teen is the son of Roderick Rickman, a Detroit businessman who owns an industrial cleaning company. The family lives in the same subdivision, just around the corner from where their son was killed. Rickman would have been a senior in the fall, and graduating high school in a year.

The 15-year-old suspect will remain in custody and will have his next court hearing later this month.


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