Family Dollar murder suspect has new court date in sex offender case

Lavere Bryant charged with murdering 2 Family Dollar store employees in July

By Halston Herrera - Digital news editor

DETROIT - A man charged in the slayings of two Dearborn Family Dollar store employees will be back in court later this month to be arraigned on charge for failure to register as a sex offender.

Lavere Bryant, who is a convicted sex offender, is accused of never self-reporting after being released from prison two years ago.

During a brief hearing Wednesday, he waived his right to a preliminary hearing and will be arraigned on Aug. 21.

The 34-year-old is also charged with two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of felony murder as well as armed robbery, unlawful imprisonment, felon in possession of a firearm and felony firearm charges.

Police and prosecutors say he's responsible for the deaths of 20-year-olds Brenna Machus and Joseph Orlando.

Machus disappeared July 15,the same night Orlando was fatally shot in the store. Her body was discovered in a wooded area less than2 miles away.

Bryant had maintained his innocence.

"I did not murder" the victims, Bryant said at his arraignment in July.

He was ordered held without bond and requested a court-appointed attorney. Authorities have not disclosed a motive in the killings.

Bryant in 1999 pleaded guilty to second-degree criminal sexual conduct. He was sentenced to jail time and probation and had to register as a sex offender, according to a court filing and the Michigan State Police.

Two years later, Bryant was locked up on an assault charge. He was transferred to the Ionia Correctional Facility in 2011 from a prison in Marquette and was released days later, according to Michigan Department of Corrections spokesman John Cordell.

The records office at the Ionia prison, though, neglected to change Bryant's address on the sex offender registry.

"It appears that a failure to note a change of address resulted in him not being active on the registry," John Cordell said.

Had law enforcement been aware that Bryant was released, he would have been required to report to a police agency every July and January.

Bryant, who is to be listed as a sex offender until 2057, never reported. That would have triggered police to begin looking for him.

When Orlando and Machus were killed, Bryant still was listed on the registry as being in prison.

Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.