Traverse City Record-Eagle

Michigan

April 25, 2014

Man gets life for retirement home deaths

DETROIT (AP) — A 67-year-old grandfather was sentenced Thursday to life in prison with no chance of parole in the killing of two women at a Detroit retirement home.

Meanwhile, the family of one victim filed a wrongful death and negligence lawsuit this week against the man, the senior apartment building and its management company. The lawsuit includes allegations that property officials didn’t appropriately seek help from police on the day of the shooting and that they knew of threats Reda allegedly made with the rifle in the past but did nothing to evict him or contact police.

Mike Reda told police he was filled with rage and alcohol on Oct. 20 when he shot Deborah Socia, 59, and Maria Gonzalez, 61, with an assault rifle at Pablo Davis Elder Living Center on the city’s southwest side. A jury found him guilty earlier this month of two counts of first-degree, premeditated murder, a count of felony murder and other crimes.

Issuing the mandatory sentence, Judge Cynthia Gray Hathaway called the killings a “horrible incident.”

Reda, who lived alone at the two-story, 80-unit center, said only: “I’m sorry for what happened.”

Some members of the victims’ families were in the courtroom but declined to speak. Defense attorney Bryan Sherer also declined comment after the hearing.

Reda, who has more than two dozen grandchildren and great-grandchildren, told police during a videotaped interrogation that he had dated the same woman for several years and that the victims had befriended her and that they frequently kept his girlfriend away from him.

He said he’d been drinking brandy and couldn’t remember most details of the day, but later in the interview he said he approached Socia and another man, Paul Fratangelo, on the center’s grounds with his MP5 rifle.

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