Criminal Defense Attorneys
Flint, Michigan

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Manley & Manley In the News

As a highly regarded Michigan criminal defense attorneys, the lawyers at Manley & Manley are no stranger to cases that have gotten a great deal of media attention. Read on to see some of our most highly publicized cases. Note that these stories represent only the small portion of our practice that has received outside media attention.

No matter what sort of criminal matter you’re facing, we will put our extensive trial experience and winning strategies to work for you. Contact us today.

Former Basketball Star Accused Of Sexual Assault

Former Michigan State basketball star Mateen Cleaves was accused of raping a woman at a Mundy Township motel on September 15, 2015. He was facing charges of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, third-degree criminal sexual conduct, assault with intent to commit sexual penetration and unlawful false imprisonment.

Prosecutors argued that Cleaves had forced himself on a drunken woman. They played clips from a surveillance video that they claimed showed Cleaves, wearing only socks, pulling a nearly naked woman back into the motel room twice. They said that Cleaves forced himself on a drunk woman, pulled her back into the room two times, and raped her.

Defense attorneys Michael Manley and Frank Manley told the jury the sex was consensual. They noted that the woman had posed for photos with Cleaves, put his number into her phone, willingly went to a motel room with him and acknowledged kissing him. They argued that Cleaves pulled her back into the room because at that point she was very drunk and was about to walk around the motel naked.

In closing arguments, Mike Manley said the woman had selective memory of what went on and lied about what happened because she had cheated on her boyfriend.

Cleaves was facing a potential 15-year prison sentence if convicted. After deliberating for less than three hours, the jury of nine women and three men acquitted him on all charges.

“The truth set Mateen Cleaves free,” Frank Manley said.

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Fatal Rock-Throwing Case

On October 18, 2017, Kenneth White was driving on I-75 in Flint while five teens were throwing rocks off an overpass. A 6-pound rock struck White, who was killed. Michael Manley is representing Mikadyn Payne, one of the five teens, who is facing second-degree murder charges.

The case has drawn national attention, including coverage on Dr. Phil, and has sparked significant debate on the matter of charging teens as adults. All five of the teenage boys involved in this incident are being charged as adults.

As attorney Manley has pointed out, Michigan law recognizes that children under 16 are not capable of consenting to sexual relationships because they are not developmentally ready to understand the consequences of their decisions. Yet when teenagers commit adult crimes, the legal system hypocritically says that they are developed enough to understand the ramifications of their actions and be charged as adults.

In response to a tough question from Dr. Phil, Manley said, “I’m appalled at what happened, but when we make decisions about our future, we have to decide what type of society we are when we sentence kids and juveniles that commit adult types of crimes.”

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Columbine-Style Shooting Plot

In a highly emotionally charged case, our client, Dylan DeAngelis, faced multiple charges for his involvement in a plot to “kill everyone” at a Mayfield Township middle school.

Throughout the legal process, attorney Manley emphasized that “actions speak louder than words” and that there was no evidence that DeAngelis and the two other involved teens intended to actually carry out the shooting.

We were able to secure a plea bargain for our client in which charges of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit terrorism and two counts of using a computer to commit a crime were dismissed. DeAngelis pleaded guilty to one count of making a false terrorist threat and one count of using a computer to commit a crime.

Manley praised the prosecutor’s office for “helping us to reach a negotiation where there is a balance between Mr. DeAngelis being held accountable for his actions and […] both his age and rehabilitation.”

“I hope this sends a clear message to teenagers that you cannot joke about anything like this,” said Manley.

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Credit Union Embezzlement Case

Our client, Michael LaJoice, faced both state and federal embezzlement charges in one of the largest fraud cases in Metro Detroit history.

The incident in question involved embezzling nearly $19 million from Clarkston Brandon Community Credit Union over a period of 12 years. Mr. LaJoice worked at the credit union from January 2003 until January 2016 and became its chief financial officer in 2015.

Mr. LaJoice gave a no contest plea under a Cobb’s agreement, which means he was allowed to enter a plea with some idea of what his sentence would be. Attorney Manley was also able to ensure that his client would be able to serve his state and federal sentences concurrently, with credit for time already served.

As the case was resolved, attorney Manley stressed Mr. LaJoice’s remorse for his actions and pointed out that he “proactively tried to right his wrongs.”

“[Michael LaJoice] is not dead. At some point, he’s going to come back into our community and hopefully he’ll get a good job and have a nice life and pay back some of this restitution,” Manley said.

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Fenton Township Chicken Ordinance

In one of the more unusual cases we’ve handled, attorney Michael Manley is representing a Fenton Township man who is facing a misdemeanor charge for illegal possession of chickens.

Our client, Andrew Charlesworth, is involved in a legal battle with Fenton Township over keeping chickens on property that isn’t zoned for farm animals. According to the township, this is a violation of a zoning ordinance. But attorney Manley has argued that the law in question is unconstitutional.

Manley has expressed hope that the ordinance can be changed and the matter resolved satisfactorily. “We remain hopeful for a solution through mutual agreement rather than the risk and expense of a judicial decision and subsequent appeals by the losing party.”

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Hypnotherapist Sexual Assault Case

Our client, Dr. John Tomlinson, a hypnotherapist, has been accused of sexual assaulting a patient. Following the initial allegation, three other former patients came forward with complaints as well, including one 2013 case that was ultimately dismissed.

Attorney Manley has stressed throughout the case that these allegations are just that, allegations, and that Dr. Tomlinson vehemently denies the charges.

"We're very disappointed in these allegations," Manley said. "All it takes is an allegation in this case and a jury will have to decide if they are true."

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Fatal DUI Case

Our client, Corey Slavik, was accused of having cocaine in his system when he fatally broadsided Jacob Bridgman at the intersection of Dixie Highway and Maple Road in April 2017.

The case hinged on chain of custody concerns regarding the urine test that was used to establish the presence of cocaine in Slavik’s system. According to attorney Michael Manley, the evidence was mishandled, which led to a not guilty verdict.

“It was our contention that none of the proper standards were followed in the collection of urine or the chain of custody by the time it got tested at the hospital,” Manley said.

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McLaren-Flint Hospital – Flint Water Crisis

In 2016, attorney Michael Manley was hired by McLaren Flint Hospital to facilitate the release of materials related to the Flint water crisis that were requested via investigative subpoena.

After reviewing those files, he stated that “crimes were committed” by state employees at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services against the hospital and city residents. Specifically, the institution was the target of crimes and cover-ups since a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak that started in 2014, according to Manley.

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Fatal Shooting of 11-Year-Old

On March 13, 2015, police were called to the 1800 block of Barks Street in Flint in response to a report about as shooting. They found an 11-year-old boy named William Lee Coppage had been shot. The boy was transported to the hospital, where he later died.

Police later arrested the boy’s cousin, 25-year-old Tovonte Kyjuan Jones, who was charged with second-degree murder and felony firearm. He was facing up to 15 years in prison if convicted. Jones said he had mishandled the gun and that the shooting was accidental.

Attorney Frank J. Manley negotiated a plea agreement with the Genesee County prosecutor. Jones pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter and was later sentenced to five years of probation and time served.

“It was a very fair disposition,” said Manley. “There’s no question it was accidental.”

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