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Accused killer went through Berkley man's pockets during deadly assault

Posted at 7:19 PM, Jul 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-31 19:25:27-04

DETROIT (WXYZ)  — The family of Tyler Wingate sat in 36th District Court Wednesday to see Lawrence Davis arraigned via video on a charge of open murder.

Davis is accused of beating Wingate to death during the early morning hours of July 22. It happened moments after the two men crashed at Livernois and Davison on Detroit's west side.

During the arraignment, Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor Ashley Ciaffone told the magistrate that Davis, who did not have a driver's license, made an improper maneuver that caused him to go into oncoming traffic and crash into Wingate's vehicle.

Ciaffone said when Davis exited his vehicle, he was irate and "ready to start a fight."

Davis allegedly punched Wingate who then fell to the ground. That's when Ciaffone told the magistrate that Davis began to search Wingate's pockets looking for something. Ciaffone did not detail whether investigators believe Davis was then looking to rob Wingate.

Ciaffone said Wingate was able to stand up again and he appeared calm but dazed, and Davis continued to brutally assault Wingate, which included a kick to the face.

Wingate died from his injuries and Davis fled the scene.

Ciaffone began to make her case to Magistrate Laura Echartea for why Davis should be held without bond, but Echartea said she had heard enough.

"A person's life was lost. Eternity. Somebody died in this matter," said Magistrate Echartea when addressing Davis. "You are, sir, going to be remanded to the county jail. There is no bond. Do you understand that, sir?"

"Yes, ma'am," Davis replied.

We could start hearing witness testimony later this month when Lawrence Davis heads to court for his preliminary examination where a judge or magistrate will decide if there's enough evidence to order Davis to stand trial.

The family of Tyler Wingate released the below statement following the hearing:

On behalf of our family, we can’t begin to express the gratitude we have for the tireless efforts of local law enforcement who assisted in apprehending Davis. Our family knows this process is not easy and it takes a tremendous amount of man-power to perform this work. We are also very grateful to the media and community who assisted in catching the suspect who has been charged with committing this senseless and violent crime.

We know things of this nature happen every day and as a community, we should come together and remember the city of Detroit is on a path moving forward creating positive change for our community. We need to put aside our anger and continue focusing on the work being done to make Detroit a better, stronger and safer city because that is what Tyler would have wanted.

Our family will forever miss Tyler. He always wanted to help others and believed Detroit was a great place to live. We are committed to fulfill his dreams. Today we join Tyler and focus on sharing the good things happening in Detroit. We will be part of the change and do our part to build a safer city and begin building a stronger community, one where everyone feels safe.

In the days to come, please continue to respect our families need for privacy as we go through the grieving process. We stand united in our desire to have this individual prosecute to the fullest extent of the law. It is up to the legal system to determine his fate.