The man accused of murdering a Detroit policeman at the New Bethel Church last March had his charge reduced from first to second degree murder.
Judge Robert L. Evans, who has presided over the long Recorder’s Court pre-trial examination of Rafael Viera, bound Viera over for trial July 30 on the reduced charge.
Evans said: “The court finds no proof of premeditation.” First degree murder requires a life sentence while second degree carries a penalty of any minimum to life.
Viera is accused of killing Patrolman Michael Czapski in a shoot-out with an undetermined number of members of the Republic of New Africa.
The dead officer’s partner, Richard Worobec, who was wounded in the shooting testified that he could not identify Viera as the man that shot him and Czapski.
The only prosecution witness who identified Viera as the slayer was a member of the RNA, David Brown, who is charged with assault to commit murder. Viera was released on $5,000 bond and embraced his attorney, Milton Henry, as he left the courtroom.