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Caught with assault rifle


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August 30, 2012
GROSSE POINTE FARMS — A man whose first-degree murder conviction was overturned when a latent witness stepped up, was caught last week during a traffic stop in possession of a loaded assault rifle.

The man tried to flee police, but got hemmed in driving down a dead-end street two blocks behind public safety headquarters, according to arresting officers.


The suspect, Venson Lewis Givhan, 43, Detroit, was arraigned in Farms Municipal Court Monday, Aug. 27 for drunken driving, possession of a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle and possession of marijuana. All are misdemeanors.

Judge Matthew Rumora set $15,000 cash bond, which Givhan posted.

He's due back in court Wednesday, Sept. 5, for a preliminary hearing.

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Givhan lives on Moross north of the I-94 expressway, about 1.5 miles from the Farms.

"I don't think he was on the way to doing something," said Farms Lt. Detective Richard Rosati. "I think he missed his house from the freeway. He needs more clarity of mind before buying guns and driving into Grosse Pointe Farms."

Rosati said he questioned Givhan for an hour.

"The next time you buy a couple of guns, don't be so mixed up you miss your house and venture into Grosse Pointe," Rosati said he advised. "You just jumped into shark-infested waters and wonder why you got stopped?"

At 1:53 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 26, a patrolman conducting an unrelated roadside investigation noticed the man's black 1999 Ford F-150 pickup truck stop at, then proceed through, a red light on southbound Moross at Kercheval.

The driver allegedly ignored the officer's orders to halt.

Pursued by the officer in a cruiser with emergency lights flashing, the suspect reportedly sped one block west on Grosse Pointe Boulevard and turned right after another block onto Muskoka, a dead-end.

He drove into a parked car and nearly hit the cruiser before giving up.

"(I) did observe the driver reaching (to) the rear seat area," said the pursuing officer.

The officer drew his weapon and ordered the man out of the pickup and onto the ground.

In the pickup's back seat police found a Century Arms .308-caliber, semi-automatic rifle, they said.

The rifle held 21 specialty, NATO-type rounds, including one in the chamber, according to Rosati. The bullets were blue-tipped, a common indication of incendiary ammunition, he added.

"They're big rounds," Rosati said.

Givhan reportedly wore an empty holster.

"Approximately 25 to 35 yards north of Grosse Pointe Boulevard, (I) located a 1911-style .45-caliber semiautomatic gun near the east curb of Muskoka," said the patrolman. "Six hollow-point rounds (were) in the magazine."

Officers said they also confiscated 3.1 grams of suspected marijuana from the man, who also registered a .22 percent blood alcohol level.

Givhan denied owning the pistol and isn't being charged with its possession, according to Rosati.

Givhan's criminal history includes a conviction in 2001 for killing his landlord outside a Detroit after-hours club, according to state records.

The state Court of Appeals reversed the first-degree murder conviction in 2007.

Included in the court's ruling is reference to a witness testifying, "(The) defendant pulled the trigger, but nothing happened. (The) defendant and two other individuals then ran away."

A cook from the after-hours club testified he witnessed another man shoot the landlord.


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