Tapes Played In Jabalee Murder Trial
Man Accused Of Fatally Stabbing Parents
The trial against a Macomb County man charged in his parents' death has been adjourned for the day, after several witnesses took the stand.
Ronald Jabalee, 42, is accused of stabbing and killing his parents, Ron and Christine Jabalee, inside their New Baltimore home in 2006.
Before Macomb County Circuit Court Judge Richard Caretti, a neighbor, a Michigan State Police officer and a man who worked with the defendant and a relative took the stand Tuesday.
Jurors also watched crime scene video taken from the Jabalee home the day they were killed and a one-hour video of Ronald Jabalee speaking with police.
The first witness to take the stand was Richard Szyller, Jabalee's brother in-law and an employee at RJs Meats, the Jabalee family business located in the Eastern Market in Detroit.
Szyller described Ron Jabalee's demeanor the day he found out about his parents' deaths and the months following the case.
The day Ron Jabalee was told about the horrific crime, Syzller said it was Saturday, Oct. 7 at 9:30 a.m. Syzller said Ron Jabalee continued to run the store, until between 2:30 and 3 p.m.
The store employees were not told about the slayings for four hours after Jabalee found out.
Defense attorneys said Jabalee was trying to run the business and close the clean and the store so the perishable items did not spoil. Attorneys said it was also payday, and Jabalee was wanted to make sure the employees got paid.
He said he then got in Jabalee's vehicle because he usually gave Syzller a ride to and from work. He said during that ride, Jabalee did not even appear upset.
"It looked like he was in shock," he said.
Before going to the New Baltimore crime scene, Jabalee stopped at the home he was having built in Clinton Township for about 10 to 15 minutes, while Szylla waited outside and then stopped at the police station, while his entire family was at his parent's home.
Ron and Christine Jabalee's former neighbor then took the stand and testified that he had noticed a vehicle coming out of the driveway with the lights off around 1:30 a.m. on Oct. 7 ? the day the bodies were discovered.
Dave Klatt told the court the vehicle in his neighbor's driveway was a dark-colored SUV with silver trim. The defense said Ronald Jabalee drove a light-colored Silverado.
A Michigan State police officer was the last to take the stand Tuesday. During his testimony, video of Ron Jabalee's police questioning was played.
In the video, Jabalee was asked about his drug abuse and the relationship with his father.
Ron admitted to years of Vicodin abuse and he admitted to telling his wife and other family members that he raised the possibility that at one point, he could have blacked out and gone "berserk" and killed his parents. However, in the video, he said even though he raised the possibility, he did not commit the murders.
Ron Jabalee also said he didn't go directly to the police station the day he heard about the murders because he wanted to stop at home and drop off the Vicodin he had.
During opening statements Thursday, the prosecution said money seems to be a motive in the fatal stabbings.
The defense has argued that there's not enough evidence to pin the killings on Jabalee and that the killer is still at large.
Jabalee lives in Clinton Township and is free on a $1 million bond. He was charged with first- and second-degree murder for the October 2006 bludgeoning and stabbing of Ronald and Christine.
The couple?s death gained national attention after detectives revealed that months after the initial investigation, a message that read ?SSEUIC? was written in Christine Jabalee's blood. The message was found next to the couple's bodies.
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