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Published: Wednesday, 8/8/2007

Wayne County prosecutors to handle Fackelman assault, invasion case

MONROE - Wayne County prosecutors will handle the felony assault and home-invasion case against Charles V. Fackelman when he appears in district court today.

Monroe County Prosecutor William Paul Nichols learned last week that his July 13 request to the Michigan Attorney General's Office for recusal had been granted, and the case had been assigned to the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office.

Mr. Nichols said he sent all case files to James D. Gonzales, an administrator in the Wayne County office, which now has full control of the proceedings.The case still will be tried in Monroe County.

Mr. Fackelman is accused of pulling a gun in March on Randy Krell, who recently was convicted of contributing to the death Mr. Fackelman's 17-year-old son last year. Mr. Fackelman faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted of home invasion and assault with a dangerous weapon.

Mr. Nichols said Krell and his attorney, William Godfroy, asked the prosecutor's office to recuse itself and that his office had agreed the request was wise.

Because the Monroe County prosecutor's office had prosecuted Krell and defended the Fackelmans' cause, the appearance of a conflict of interest was possible, Mr. Nichols said.

Krell, a former Bedford school board member, was convicted by a Monroe County jury June 28 of negligent homicide for chasing a car full of teenagers on the night of June 15, 2006, after one of them threw a plastic water bottle at his car.

The chase ended when the driver, Austin Oberle, then 17, went through an intersection and hit a tree, killing Charlie Fackelman of Toledo and paralyzing Stevie Beale, now 18, of Bedford Township.

Oberle pleaded guilty to felonies resulting from his role in the crash. Both he and Krell face up to two years in prison when they are sentenced next Thursday.

In the present case, Mr. Fackelman is charged with driving to Krell's Lambertville home on March 28 and pointing a loaded gun at him.

Krell ran into a neighbor's house and shut the door. Mr. Fackelman kicked open the door and searched for Krell, but Krell had slipped out a back door, according to the sheriff's office report.

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