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Beline Obeid

Defense attorney looks long term

Brad Lindberg Staff Writer
July 20, 2017
GROSSE POINTE FARMS — The attorney defending a man against a weapons charge plans for a victory with statewide impact.

“I’m going to try to make some new law with this case,” said Catherine O’Meara.

She’s the court-appointed counsel of Sean Michael Linston, a 31-year-old accused habitual offender from Detroit.

Grosse Pointe Farms police arrested Linston during a traffic stop on Mack near Elizabeth Court Tuesday afternoon, July 4, for possessing a concealed 3 3/4-inch push dagger.

“There’s some question about the way the law’s written, the need for intent and if you can have a knife for a lawful purpose,” O’Meara said. “In some interpretations of the law, it doesn’t matter what your intent is with a knife that’s considered per se dangerous.”

Investigators feel their case is strong, despite Linston reportedly alternately claiming he needed the dagger for protection and cutlery.

“When I was researching this with the prosecutor, it was necessary to show Linston intended to use it as a weapon, even if it was for self defense,” Farms Detective Lt. Richard Rosati said. “If it was for opening coconuts, which he also said, we were not going to authorize (an arrest warrant) for carrying a concealed weapon. But, if you intend to use it as a weapon, it’s a weapon, even if it’s for self defense.”

O’Meara assumes she’ll lose at the municipal and district levels. She’s aiming for victory in a higher court.

“(Losing) is going to give it a chance to go into appellate arena where the law can change,” she said.

“Often, as practitioners, we take a stance at the trial court level knowing it’s likely to be unsuccessful, but knowing we’re really setting a foundation for appeal,” said David Draper, a Farms attorney unaffiliated with the case. “If you’re victorious at the appellate court and it gets published, that’s precedent, something everyone can rely on in the state.”

“If you’re not content with whatever the ruling is from the municipal or district court, you’d go to circuit court and, beyond that, the court of appeals all the way up to the Michigan Supreme Court,” said Randall Cain, an attorney from City of Grosse Pointe and former Grosse Pointe Park public safety officer. “She may lose at the next level. You never know.”

During a probable cause hearing Wednesday, July 12, in Farms Municipal Court, Judge Matthew Rumora agreed with O’Meara to reschedule Linston’s preliminary examination to noon Wednesday, Aug. 9.

Linston remains free, having posted 10 percent of $10,000 bond.

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