A man’s sentencing Wednesday for murdering three Warren residents, including a child, was postponed amid some fireworks in the courtroom because he has COVID-19 and wants to be physically present at the proceedings.
The sentencing of Nicholas Bahri, 39, of Bloomfield Hills, was pushed back two weeks by Macomb County Circuit Judge Edward Servitto after an angry Bahri told the judge over Zoom video he wants to be present, wants to file legal motions and fired his retained attorney.
Bahri was convicted of 15 counts, including three counts of first-degree murder, for the shooting deaths of Tukoyo Moore, 32, his 6-year-old son, Tai’Raz, and his fiancee Isis Rimson, 28. Moore, a drug dealing associate of Bahri, was shot by Bahri in a rental car in front of Bahri’s home shortly before he shot Rimson and Tai’Raiz in their home on Otis Street in Warren.
Bahri was convicted by a jury in April following a six-day trial that included overwhelming evidence of his guilt.
He will be sentenced to life in prison without parole.
Bahri claimed the video from Bahri’s parents’ home security video was “doctored” by authorities.
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“This is fact, he did not get killed in my driveway, period,” Bahri insisted, and told Servitto he “did not want to know the truth.”
His comment drew groans and murmurs in the courtroom gallery.
Bahri, who appeared from the county jail, said he wants to be present for his sentencing so he can address a number of people, including the judge.
He added he filed a legal motion to fire his attorney, Lee O’Brien, who said he wanted to withdraw.
“I think he just fired me,” O’Brien told Servitto.
Servitto agreed and said a public defender will be appointed to represent him for his post-conviction issues.
Bahri indicated he wants to file a motion to claim O’Brien was ineffective, O’Brien said, and other motions aimed at seeking a new trial
Several of the over 30 family and friends of the victims expressed disappointment over the adjournment. A woman from Rimson’s side of the family called the development “foolery” as she entered an elevator to leave.
Assistant Macomb Prosecutor Carmen DeFranco, who prosecuted the case along with Assistant Macomb Prosecutor Dana Chiamp, said Bahri has a legal right to be present.
“While we’re disappointed the families didn’t get the closure they deserve for today, delaying it a couple of weeks to ensure that his rights are protected is the right decision,” DeFranco said.
Servitto apologized for the delay to the audience, who had been present and waiting for the hearing for about two hours. Many of them donned T-shirts with, “Justice Is Served,” printed on them accompanied by photographs of the victims.
“Folks, I know that all of you have been here a long time anticipating sentencing, however, the law requires that if he desires to be present he has the right to be present. It is mandatory we adjourn this today,” he said.
During the trial, DeFranco said Bahri killed for greed. He ransacked Moore’s home looking for money and found some cash – the amount was not disclosed – but left without finding $48,000 in cash that police found in the home.
Bahri befriended Moore while both were in prison. Four days before the killings, Moore and his son visited Bahri at his home.
Bahri’ shot Moore shortly before 8 p.m. Sept. 30 as Moore was seated in the driver’s seat of Moore’s rented Kia Sorrento. Moore had parked in the driveway, exited and returned to the vehicle.
Investigators, using the Hertz rental car’s GPS, after-the-fact tracked Bahri to Moore’s home, where he arrived at about 10 p.m. with Moore’s body in the car.
Bahri shot Tai’Raiz and Rimson once in the face and multiple times in the arms each as he was trying to get them to reveal where cash was located. Rimson also was shot in the leg.
He drove to a gas station and purchased fuel and a gas container, then drove to various location before arriving on Hyde Park on Detroit’s near east side where he set the car on fire and walked to Greektown.
He is seen in a video in Greektown entering a taxi cab to be taken home.
The burning Sorrento and Moore’s body were discovered between 2-3 a.m. Oct. 1, and police found the bodies of Rimson and Tai’Raz about 10 a.m. that day.
Warren police arrested Bahri about two weeks later.
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