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Flint Prosecution Pursue Case with Warrants
September 12, 2022
LANSING – The Flint Water prosecution today highlighted its response to a motion from one defendant seeking to dismiss charges for his role in the water crisis. Specifically, the prosecution made clear their intention to proceed on the warrant issued against the defendant by the one-man grand juror.
Jarrod Agen filed a motion to dismiss before Judge Elizabeth Kelly in Genesee County’s Seventh Circuit Court. Agen is charged with one count of perjury, a 15-year felony.
In June, the Michigan Supreme Court used the Flint criminal prosecution case to consider the question of whether Michigan’s one-man grand jury process could issue indictments and bypass the requirement for a preliminary exam. The one-man grand jury process is a statutory prosecutorial tool used in the state for decades to issue indictments in cases where extraordinary circumstances necessitate confidentiality.
The Court found that the one-man grand jury could not issue indictments and eliminate the requirement for preliminary exam. However, the Court also recognized the authority of the one-person grand jury to initiate criminal proceedings by issuing a warrant upon a finding of probable cause. Accordingly, prosecutors responded to Agen’s request for dismissal by making clear the one-man grand jury process used in their case included the issuance of warrants.
The prosecution’s response states, “So, while this Court must dismiss the Indictment to the extent it functions as a formal indictment that bypasses a preliminary examination, the appropriate next step is then to remand this matter to the district court for preliminary examination, in accordance with MCL 767.4 and Peeler. Again, this is because the warrant still exists, and that warrant was properly issued by the one-person grand jury.” This position is also the basis of several motions filed by the prosecution in July, seeking to have all felony cases remanded to district court for preliminary exams.
Furthermore, the prosecution asserted in their response that, “Defendant Agen, as do other defendants in the Flint Water cases, improperly conflates the dismissal of an indictment and the dismissal of a case in its entirety.”
“The state supreme court issued its opinion on a legal process, not on the evidence in our case,” said Solicitor General Fadwa Hammoud. “We are confident that the evidence clearly supports the criminal charges in this case, and we will not stop until we have exhausted all possible options to secure justice for Flint.”
Hearings in front of Judge Kelly have been cancelled in favor of issuing written rulings in response to pending matters in the ongoing prosecution of nine defendants for their role in Flint Water Crisis.
A copy of the response from the prosecution is available here.
Please note: A criminal charge is merely an allegation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.