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Prosecutor fights to keep alleged Detroit hitman from getting compassionate release

Posted at 11:57 AM, Mar 24, 2021

(WXYZ) — Saima Mohsin, the acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan, is fighting to keep a convicted murderer and alleged hitman in Detroit behind bars after a court granted him compassionate release.

According to a court filing, a judge granted Ronald Hunter compassion release, citing four different reasons for his release. The judge stayed the release until a full review can be completed. Mohsin is hoping the judge will extend that stay pending a government appeal.

Hunter was convicted of murdering 23-year-old Monica Johnson, and the government said he was a hitman for a large drug organization in Detroit back in the 1990s.

During the trial, the government argued that Hunter had murdered Johnson as she was suspected of stealing money from one of the leaders and the organization wanted to prevent her from testifying in a state kidnapping case.

Hunter allegedly agreed to kill her and had escaped from a parole camp in Michigan where he was serving a prison sentence.

According to the filing, Hunter shot Johnson in the head outside of a club and then was paid for the hit in cocaine. The government also argued that Hunter had murdered at least five other people, but a jury convicted Hunter of murdering Johnson and acquitted him of three other murders.

"Hunter even got a 'head hunter' tattoo on his right shoulder, just in case there was any confusion about his profession," the government said in the filing.

Hunter, who is now 52, is currently in jail at a federal prison in Illinois, and the government alleges he refused to get the COVID-19 vaccine and has a lengthy record in prison, which includes violations for possessing dangerous weapons, fighting and more.

According to the filing, Hunter listed medical conditions as a reason for his release but refused the vaccine in late 2020. He then filed more reasons for his release, claiming that his age when he committed the murder – 23 years old – and his rehabilitation in prison, should get him out early.

The judge who granted his release did say COVID-19 was not a proper basis for release, but did grant his other reasons for release which included his age at the time of the killing, the fact that Hunter taught himself to read and earned a GED in prison, and a Supreme Court decision which changed sentencing guidelines to advisory instead of mandatory.

Mohsin argued that Hunter poses a danger to the public, and lists other reasons he believes Hunter should not be released, adding that he was the average age for murders under FBI crime stats when he killed Johnson.

You can read the entire filing below.
Prosecutor fights to keep alleged Detroit hitman from getting compassionate release by WXYZ-TV Channel 7 Detroit on Scribd