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Joint Trial Set In Parham Murder Case

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Joint Trial Set In Parham Murder Case

A murder trial in Washtenaw County Circuit Court began this morning with the drawing of a jury.

The cases of John W. Ulmer Jr., 23, of 1124 Nielson Ct., and Chester A. Shepard, 21, of Detroit, have been consolidated for a joint trial before Judge William F. Ager Jr.

The defendants are charged with the slaying of Leroy Parham Jr., 29, who was found by Ann Arbor Police on July 19 of last year slumped in the doorway of his apartment at 2047 Pauline Blvd. with a fatal shotgun wound in the area of his left hip.

Assistant Prosecutor John Salan’s key witness in the trial will be William E. Davis, a former Ann Arbor man who was sentenced to prison earlier this year after pleading guilty to a charge of second degree (unpremediated) murder in Parham’s death.

Davis has claimed that Ulmer and Shepard were both involved with him in a plan to "ripoff” several top narcotics dealers in the city, one of whom was allegedly Parham. He said Parham was killed when an attempt to rob him of money or heroin failed.

According to Davis’ story, Shepard was the “hit man” who actually pulled the trigger of the sawed-off 12-gauge shotgun which killed Parham. Davis said he was with Shepard at the time while Ulmer waited outside the apartment building in a car.