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Press Release

Detroit Man Sentenced In Drive-By Shooting And Murder Committed Outside A Popular Detroit Restaurant In The Warehouse District

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Michigan

A Detroit man was sentenced yesterday after having been convicted by a jury in October, 2018, on charges of murder-for-hire, conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and oxycodone, and use of a firearm causing death during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime, announced United States Attorney Matthew Schneider.

Schneider was joined in the announcement by Steven M. D'Antuono, Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit FBI Field Office and Chief James Craig, Detroit Police Department.

Andre Watson, 33, received a sentence of life plus 10 years in federal prison.

The four-week trial was conducted before United States District Judge Avern Cohn. 

According to the evidence presented at trial, on September 11, 2015, a drive-by shooting took place outside of They Say restaurant in the Warehouse District of Detroit in which the victim, Devin Wallace, 30, of Novi, Michigan, was killed. The investigation into the shooting determined Deaunta Belcher was part of an intricate drug and fraud scheme throughout Detroit. Belcher and others, including his co-defendant Darnell Bailey and the victim Devin Wallace, obtained cars, apartments, furniture, and other items fraudulently using the identities of drug customers and other fraud victims, and leased those items to drug dealers throughout the city. Belcher and others decided to kill Wallace out of greed so they could assume his role in their fraud and drug conspiracy.

The evidence showed that Belcher and his co-defendant, Darnell Bailey, offered two men, Andre Watson, and Stephen Brown, money, a car, and other compensation to commit the murder. Watson and Brown spent weeks trying to locate Wallace, and on September 11, 2015, Belcher informed Watson and Brown that Wallace would be at They Say. Watson, Brown, and a third man, Billie J. Chambers, drove to They Say where Brown fired toward Wallace twice and Watson shot Wallace 12 times at close range. Nine bullets struck his body, with six bullets entering his head. Wallace died at the scene. In an effort to mislead investigators, Belcher and Bailey told police that Wallace was killed for cooperating with the DEA in a separate drug investigation.

The jury also convicted Belcher for obstruction of justice for statements made to Detroit police on September 24, 2015, in which he tried to mislead investigators regarding his relationship with Stephen Brown.

Co-defendants, Billie J. Chambers, 33, and Stephen Brown, 27, both from Detroit, previously pleaded guilty to murder-for-hire for their respective involvement in the shooting.  Chambers received a sentence of 144 months and Brown received a sentence of 204 months.  Darnell Bailey, 29, of Roseville and Deaunta Belcher, 36, are awaiting sentencing.

“These defendants carried out a brazen, cold blooded murder in broad daylight near downtown Detroit, and the shooting shocked our community when it was broadcast on the evening news,” United States Attorney Matthew Schneider said.  “Thanks to the tireless efforts of the FBI and the Detroit Police Department, the people of Detroit can rest easier knowing these defendants will remain behind bars for the rest of their lives. Eradicating violent crime remains our top priority, and we will continue to work every day so Michiganders can go about their lives without fear of harm.”

“The defendants showed a callous disregard for life and the safety of our community that is all too often displayed by those involved in large-scale drug trafficking operations,” said SAC D’Antuono. “This sentence is the result of a strong collaboration among the FBI’s Violent Crimes Task Force, the Detroit Police Department, and the US Attorney’s Office and a step towards making the streets of Detroit a little safer.”

The investigation was a collaboration between Detroit Police and members of the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force. 

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Terrence Haugabook.

Updated January 13, 2020

Violent Crime