Eastpointe man fatally stabbed mom, dumped body in storm drain, police say

An Eastpointe man was arraigned on charges of murder and concealing the death of an individual Friday after he allegedly killed his mother months earlier. 

Samantha Guinther went missing in June when her son Justin Jackson, 26, fatally assaulted her, Macomb County prosecutors said. During Jackson's court appearance, the Assistant Prosecutor Rebecca Kelley said Guinther had contacted her son out of concern for his children's safety.

"This individual punched and then stabbed and then –without going into all the details– did horrendous things to this person, allegedly for contacting and being concerned about his children and contacting protective services," Attorney Rebecca Kelley said.

Multiple weapons were used in the murder, police said.

"The simple fact that a son murdered his own mother is terrible," said Lt. Alexander Holish, who leads Eastpointe Police's detective bureau.

The murder allegedly happened on June 18 and Guinther's body was discarded in a nearby storm drain soon after, police said. After she was reported missing, it wasn't until Oct. 25 when police executed a search warrant at the victim's last known address in Erin Park, a condominium complex in Eastpointe, that they made progress in the case.

Two persons of interest were taken into custody, Jackson and a friend of his that was present in the home during the search warrant. The second individual was later released from custody. 

The medical examiner later determined the body found in the storm drain was Guinther's.

Jackson was charged in two separate cases, including in the homicide investigation. He was arraigned on counts of first-degree murder, tampering with evidence, concealing the death of an individual, and lying to a peace officer. He is facing life in prison.

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The judge set his bond at $10 million, cash surety. Jackson pled not guilty through an attorney, arguing that he had a difficult upbringing that included drug addiction, sexual assault and abuse by his father.

"I’d ask for the court to allow him to speak with somebody to talk about his issues," said Jackson's attorney, Chris Metry.

He was also arraigned on two separate drug counts of possession of a controlled substance less than 25 grams of cocaine, and possession of xanax.

His next court appearance is a probable cause conference on Nov. 8. His preliminary exam is scheduled for Nov. 15.