One of the men accused of shooting to death a Redford man after robbing him of $150 texted LMAO, punctuated by smiley faces, as he watched TV news coverage of the murder later that day, police said during a court hearing this week.
Arlandus Nolen II, 18, and Daveion Dix, 19, both of Inkster, are charged with shooting 21-year-old Joseph McClendon a dozen times as he sat in his car near Henry Ruff and Annapolis in Westland on March 28. Police said McClendon was attempting to illegally buy a gun from the other two men when he was robbed and killed.
Both suspects are charged with first-degree murder, armed robbery and felony firearm. A third suspect, Nolen’s father, Arlandus Nolen Sr., 39, of Roseville, is charged with felony accessory after the fact, being a felon in possession of a firearm, felony firearm and being a habitual offender.
Thursday’s preliminary hearing in Westland 18th District Court was for the senior Nolen and Dix, and was continued to June 4. The younger Nolen is undergoing a court-ordered mental competency evaluation.
According to court testimony, McClendon was robbed of $150 — the price of the nine-millimeter handgun he had agreed to purchase — and two cell phones.
The autopsy found that McClendon died from multiple gunshot wounds — a dozen shots, largely on his right side that hit him in the arm, forearm, chest, back leg and hip, along with his left hand.
That would be consistent with McClendon being shot from the direction of the passenger side of the vehicle.
Police said they recovered approximately eight shell casings on the ground near the passenger side of the vehicle — half nine millimeter, half 20-caliber.
Testimony was that McClendon was robbed of $150 — the price of the 9-mm handgun he had agreed to purchase — and two cell phones.
Westland Police Sgt. Jon Torolski testified that Dix’s cell phone had text messages from the younger Nolen, including some several days before the murder in which Nolen used slang terms to say he wanted to kill someone.
Approximately four hours after McClendon was killed, Torolski said there was a text message from Nolen asking Dix if he was watching.
“Dix said he (Nolen) was talking about watching the TV news about the murder,” said Torolski, adding Nolen responded LMAO with two smiley faces.
There were also photos of McClendon forwarded to Dix from Nolen Jr. via Instagram.
All three defendants remain jailed and have entered not guilty pleas.