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Court hearing held for 2 charged in West Bloomfield woman's murder

Diana Pesserl found shot to death Dec. 9

Jaylen Stringer and DeSean Smith (WDIV)
Jaylen Stringer and DeSean Smith (WDIV)

BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Two men charged in connection with the murder of a West Bloomfield woman who was found shot to death in a burned car are scheduled to appear in court Friday morning.

DeSean Smith, 18, is charged with arson, felony firearm and open murder in connection with Diana Pesserl's murder. She was found dead Dec. 9 inside a burning vehicle in West Bloomfield. 

Smith and 19-year-old Jaylen Steven Stringer both face charges. Stringer is accused of helping Smith tamper with evidence. He faces evidence tampering and accessory after the fact in relation to a homicide charges.

Both men have been held at the Oakland County Jail since their arrests. A preliminary examination is to determine if there is enough evidence for Smith and Stringer to stand trial. 

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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