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40-year-old convicted of murder in Lapeer County drug case

Published: Oct. 11, 2021 at 3:27 PM EDT
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LAPEER COUNTY, Mich. (WJRT) - A Detroit man is facing life in prison after a Lapeer County jury convicted him of murder last week.

Police say 40-year-old Lydell Dukes shot and killed 35-year-old Jason Stefanski of Rockford and injured 29-year-old Nick Palazzolo in a drug-related incident in Dryden Township in September 2019. Dukes was found guilty on Friday of 11 charges, including first-degree murder.

The shootings happened around 3 a.m. Sept. 8, 2019. That’s when Lapeer County sheriff’s deputies say residents at a home on Hollow Corners Road woke to the sound of around 15 to 20 gunshots and saw a man in their backyard suffering from a gunshot wound.

A deputy was on the way to the scene and noticed some broken glass in the road near the residence where Palazzolo was spotted. The deputy stopped to investigate and found Stefanski’s body lying in the ditch with a gunshot wound.

Investigators followed tire tracks on the road to Wilder Road, where they found Dukes sitting in an SUV with a gun in his lap. Dukes took off and led police on a chase away from the scene before stopping a couple miles north of Lapeer on M-24.

He scheduled to be sentenced in November to a mandatory term of life in prison with no chance of parole.

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