Warren murder suspect arrested after home invasion in Shelby Township

Anthony Iannotti wanted in connection to murder of Donna Lawrence

SHELBY TOWNSHIP, Mich. – A man suspected of killing a 62-year-old grandmother in her Warren apartment last week was arrested Tuesday morning in Shelby Township.

Listen: 911 call from Shelby Township home which led to Warren murder suspect's arrest

Anthony Iannotti, 34, is wanted in connection to the killing of Dona Lawrence, who was found dead Aug. 10 in her Warren apartment right after Iannotti was released from jail.

"I'm ecstatic they caught him," said Lawrence's daughter, Renee Lawrence. "We feel safer. We were very concerned about today."

The Warren detective leading the case got one judge to revoke Iannotti's bond Monday, and another judge issued new warrants for first-degree murder.

Read: Police search Shelby Township neighborhood for Iannotti

He was arraigned on charges of first-degree murder, felony homicide, unlawful driving away a motor vehicle and larceny from a building. He also faces lesser charges related to his disabling of his tether and violating the personal protection order against his estranged wife. This time, there will be no bond.

"I dno't know if I'll ever have closure," Renee said. "This was an unnecessary thing to happen to my mother ... I will have my say and I will speak on behalf of my family and my mother and this will not break us."

She didn't want to make Tuesday about Iannotti, instead focusing on her mother's visitation.

"She would be proud for everybody who stepped up and caught this guy," 

Iannotti first was named as person of interest, then a murder suspect. On Monday, a felony murder warrant was issued for him as a manhunt was well underway. Police said he may have been driving Lawrence’s blue Daewoo Nubira, with Michigan license plate DAC 5379.

Video: Iannotti arraigned on murder charges

Iannotti was taken into custody at the Spring Hill apartment complex after a suspected home invasion in Shelby Township. A woman and her child were in the home on Ryan Road when the suspect entered the home at about 9 a.m.

Terrified, the woman and her young son hid in an upstairs bathroom and called police describing a bald man in a tattered coat.

Police said Iannotti appeared to have been living in the woods over the last few days. Iannotti had shaved his head and his facial hair.

The home invader fled through 300 yards of heavy brush to the Spring Hill apartments, where an officer spotted him and ordered him to the ground. Despite the patchy shaved head and face, officers said they knew it was Iannotti as soon as they rolled him over. He taken into custody without incident.

"Literally tackled less than 50 feet from my front door," said Mike Lessick. "It was kind of an exciting morning. I'm just glad they got him and nothing more had happened."

"I want to know who puts him back out on the street," said Shelby Township Chief Robert Shelide. "I looked at his record and I was appalled. Violent crime after violent crime. At what point does someone decide they're going to lock him up? We're sick of it. In this house a 34-year-old woman and her 2-and-a-half-year-old child scared to death. If she wasn't up and alert and called us, who knows what could've gone on in this house in here."

What happened

Lawrence was found murdered in her apartment early Wednesday last week, bludgeoned to death in her apartment.

The apartment complex is on Schoenherr Road, between 13 Mile Road and Masonic Boulevard.

VideoArrest made in Warren grandmother's murder

Neighbors said they saw a man wearing a T-shirt and khaki shorts walk up to the complex and knock on Lawrence’s door calling her name. The neighbors saw her let him into the apartment.

Police were on the scene 30 minutes later.

Ex-wife fears for her safety

In a post to Facebook, Iannotti’s ex-wife, Cassie Hokanson, said that she is in hiding. She posted that Iannotti had broken into her house and that he is after her.

The post put police on the offensive. Warren Mayor Jim Fouts said that catching Iannotti was priority No. 1.

Hokanson also said Iannotti showed up where she was hiding with her family.

"My father fired twice to protect my family," she said.


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