'No More Laughing' Judge Tells Stabbing Suspect

Joseph Reiner, suspect in the Feb. 23 stabbing of a Macomb Township woman, appeared in 41A District Court for a continuance of his preliminary examination.

“No more laughing, sir,” was the warning Judge Douglas P. Shepherd gave to Joseph Reiner today as Reiner’s in 41A District Court.

Reiner, 27, is the defendant in the Feb. 23 case concerning the of a 69-year-old Macomb Township woman. The laughter followed a brief shouting match between Reiner's attorney, Timothy Barkovic, and prosecutor William Cataldo.

During today’s proceedings, Cataldo called on Macomb Township resident Thomas Kosciolek to identify Reiner, and in doing so, place him near the scene of the Feb. 23 attack. Kosciolek, who lives on the 49000 block of Fairchild near 22 Mile Road, is a neighbor of the stabbing victim, Joann Eisenhardt.

Kosciolek testified that at approximately 9:45 a.m. on Feb. 23, he saw Reiner walking along Fairchild Road and stopped to give him a lift.

“There was a gentleman walking, going eastbound, and as I was going that way he was walking, then he kind of turned around and kind of got in front of the vehicle and stopped me and asked me to take him to the bus stop,” Kosciolek said.

When asked by Cataldo to identify the man he drove, Kosciolek pointed to Reiner.

Although Kosciolek said he spoke little to Reiner during the ride, he did note the suspect was “sweating really, really bad,” and instead of removing his hat or gloves during the ride, rolled down the window of Kosciolek’s 1994 Ford Ranger.

Kosciolek would later note that the seat on which Reiner had been sitting was “so wet” with sweat.

Kosciolek testified that Reiner had initially asked to be dropped off at a bus stop at 22 Mile and Gratiot, but after a stop at Kosciolek’s credit union, he changed his request to 15 Mile and Gratiot.

At this point in Kosciolek’s testimony, Cataldo re-introduced exhibit No. 10, a surveillance video from Flagstar Bank, which he alleges, and Kosciolek confirms, shows Reiner exiting from Kosciolek’s truck.

Kosciolek said after the drop-off he continued with his errands until his neighbor, a Chesterfield police officer, called to tell him of the attack on Eisenhardt.

“I told (my neighbor), ‘I think I just dropped of that gentleman on the corner of 15 and Gratiot,'” Kosciolek said.

Soon after police impounded Kosciolek’s truck and asked him to view several photograph lineups, during which Kosciolek was able to identify Reiner as his passenger.

With the of pawn shop owner, Hadrian Lewandoski, whose eyewitness report links Reiner to Eisenhardt through the jewelry Reiner pawned belonging to her, Kosciolek is the prosecution’s only witness whose testimony is able to place Reiner in the area of the attack on Feb. 23.

The next hearing in the case will take place Aug. 3 at 1:30 p.m., when prosecution and defense will present briefs detailing different elements of the case.

Until then, Reiner will return to Jackson Prison.

Eisenhardt, whose family and friends were present in the courtroom today, remains in the hospital, semi-comatose and unresponsive, Cataldo said. He attributed Eisenhardt's condition to a relapse from injuries–two stab wounds to the neck–sustained in the Feb. 23 attack.

Lilly September 24, 2011 at 08:01 PM


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