West Bloomfield murder: 2 men charged expected in court Monday

Diana Pesserl, 31, found killed Dec. 9

Diana Pesserl, Jaylen Stringer and DeSean Smith
Diana Pesserl, Jaylen Stringer and DeSean Smith

WEST BLOOMFIELD, Mich. – Two men charged in connection to the killing of a West Bloomfield woman are expected to appear in court Monday for probably cause conferences. 

Diana Pesserl's body was found dead Dec. 9 inside a burning vehicle in West Bloomfield. Medical officials said the 31-year-old died from a gunshot wound to her abdomen

Jaylen Steven Stringer, 19, faces evidence tampering and accessory after the fact in relation to a homicide charges. He was arraigned Friday morning and is being held at the Oakland County Jail on a $250,000 bond. DeSean Maurice Smith was charged earlier last week with arson, felony firearm and open murder in Pesserl's death.

Police said Smith was visiting a childhood friend just a few houses down from Pesserl, but that he has no connection to her.

Officials believe Pesserl was sitting in her car listening to music, which she often did, when Smith left his friend's house and allegedly killed her. Stringer is accused of helping Smith cover up the murder.

READ: Police describe alleged events leading to West Bloomfield woman's death

"Smith returned approximately an hour and a half later and showed (a person) the butt of a firearm in his waistband," Detective Derek Kane said. "(Smith said), '(Pesserl) tried to grab my pistol so I had to shoot her.' Detectives later found a .38 pistol and 10 rounds of ammunition."

In the courtroom Monday, Smith told the judge he isn't a flight risk because he's not a threat and that he's innocent of the charges.

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