(12/5/2018) - They held protests, constantly communicated with the Genesee County Prosecutor's Office; and Wednesday, Tyesha Kemp's family is claiming victory, as the district court judge takes a second look at her case.
"That was huge, Kemp's younger sister, Ereka Bunn, said. "Last time I felt defeated, I felt like she wasn't getting justice served. But now that they've done this, I feel like they're on her side."
Bunn can't sit in on the hearing; but it was clear others are filling the courtroom for her. Kemp's Mom, siblings, coworkers from McLaren Hospital and other friends listened in to the three new witnesses who took the stand today against 28-year-old Brandon Merrow Wednesday.
Bunn said in the early morning hours of June 2nd, Kemp drove Merrow to her Davison Township home after an argument at a bar.
Police believe she dropped him off and left; but with a push-button-start car, Kemp could only make it down the road to VG's. It turns out Merrow somehow got her keys off her wallet.
"She always had her keys attached to that, no matter where she went. I had billions of pictures of her keys on her wallet," Bunn said. "So, for her keys to be off of that wallet it doesn't make any sense. She wouldn't have taken them off."
Bunn believes Merrow had a plan. She said Kemp called him to ask for the keys. When he didn't show up, Kemp started walking in the dark of night, dressed in black. Police said Merrow ended up running over and killed his girlfriend.
The judge claimed the original witness testimony at a hearing in September didn't prove his actions were intentional. So, he sent Merrow to trial on only four charges, including drunk driving causing death, a 15-year felony. The murder charge could mean life in prison.
"What I heard today, there was nothing that, at least I heard, that was enough to reinstate that charge," defense attorney Mike Manley said. "This is an absolute tragedy. A beautiful life was lost. It's certainly another example of drinking and driving causing death. Mr. Merrow has accepted responsibility. He's gonna be punished greatly."
Three more witnesses will still need to testify before a decision is made. That's expected to happen on January 9th.