All 5 suspects indicted on open murder charges for cold case

Local News

JACKSON CO., Mich. (WLNS) – After an investigation lasting five years ends, five men are charged with a murder in Jackson County.

After appearing in front of a grand jury this week, all five suspects have been charged with the 2013 murder of Phillip Sango.

Jackson County prosecutor Jerry Jarzynka says tracking these men down and putting them behind bars was a team effort.

“Cold cases are very difficult and typically means that the investigation went cold for some reason,” said Jarzynka.

After an investigation lasting five years comes to an end, Jarzynka says he’s impressed by the detective’s efforts to never give up.

“They stick with the case, at least they keep it in mind, and then something develops,” said Jarzynka.

That’s exactly what happened with the case surrounding the 2013 murder of Phillip Sango. New developments came up a year ago which led to the arrests of 38-year-old Winston Russell, 28-year-old Joshua Long, 30-year-old Robert Brown Jr., 38-year-old Donald Long, and 29-year-old Anthony Wade.

All of them are facing charges that range from open murder and conspiracy to commit murder to armed robbery and possession of a firearm.

“Prosecutors always want to let the public know that we don’t give up on cases, even though a case might grow cold,” said Jarzynka.

With these arrests, Jarzynka says he’s glad he can help provide closure for Sango’s family.

“You’re seeking justice not only for the victims of those homicide crimes, but also for their families and friends,” said Jarzynka.

Jarzynka wants the public to learn from this case. He says that even though it may have taken some time to make arrests, information is critical.

So he says if you see or know something about a crime, don’t be afraid to speak up and call police.

“If you want to live in a community that’s going to be safe, you want to live in a community that’s going to be one where its civil its peaceful, it does take some effort and in some cases it can take some courage to come forward with information,” said Jarzynka.

If found guilty of the charges they face, the five men are looking at life in prison. They’re set to appear in court for a hearing at the end of the month.

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ORIGINAL STORY:

Jackson County Prosecutor Jerry Jarzynka said five defendants have been charged in connection with the death of Phillip Sango.

Winston Russell, Joshua Long, Robert Brown Jr., Donald Long, and Anthony Wade were charged with crimes ranging from open murder and solicitation of murder to armed robbery and possession of a firearm.

Open Murder, conspiracy to commit murder, solicitation of murder, and armed robbery all carry a maximum penalty of life while possession of a firearm carries a maximum penalty of 5 years, and felony firearm convictions carries a mandatory penalty of 2 years.

After a grand jury hearing, all five suspects were indicted and charged with the 2013 murder of Phillip Sango. Bond was denied for all defendants in this case. A Circuit Court Pretrial is scheduled for November 27th, 2018.

“The City of Jackson Police Department, particularly, Detective Stiles, has been diligent in investigating this incident,” said Prosecutor Jerry Jarzynka.

Please note the charges are merely an accusation, the defendants are innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

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