Former Detroit police lieutenant going to trial on criminal enterprise charges

Bill Rice, Cheryl Sanford accused of conducting criminal enterprise

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Bill Rice

DETROIT - A former Detroit police homicide lieutenant will go to trial on a perjury charge for allegedly conducting a criminal enterprise.

Bill Rice's preliminary examination was held Tuesday. He and codefendant Cheryl Sanford were bound over to stand trial. They will be arraigned April 30.

Prosecutors say Rice testified in a 2009 evidentiary hearing as a defense alibi witness.

Davontae Sanford was charged in 2007 in the slayings of four people when he was 14 years old. Sanford pleaded guilty, but his lawyer sought to withdraw the plea.

The state Appeals Court sent the case back to the lower court, where Rice testified.

Rice and Cheryl Sanford, Davontae Sanford's aunt, were charged last year with conducting a criminal enterprise.

They also are accused of providing false information on property to obtain federal funds to quality for mortgages.

"Bill is trying, as you know, every time he leaves his house there is cameras and media everywhere. So he's taking it one day at a time, continuing to live his life and not worry about it too much," said Rice's attorney, Tiffany McEvans.

The perjury case will continue in May. Meanwhile, Rice has no comment to make about the charge.

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