By Cathy Taylor Correspondent
Testimony began Wednesday morning in Clare County District Court in the preliminary examination of evidence related to the murder of Harrison resident Floyd Dennis. The honorable District Judge Joshua M. Farrell presided over the matter.
Dennis, 68, was the owner of Kern’s Grocery in Dodge City as well as the treasurer for the Harrison Public Schools Board of Education. He was found murdered the afternoon of January 18, 2013 at a cabin in Harrison’s Redding Township.
Oanh Kieu Bass, 32, of Remus stands accused of open murder in the case. Bass was arrested January 19th, 2013 at her Remus residence and has since been lodged in the Clare County Jail in Harrison.
Mr. Todd Flood, an attorney from the Royal Oak law firm of Flood Law, represented Ms. Bass in the matter. His first witness called to testify before the court was the wife of Floyd Dennis, Cynthia Jones-Dennis.
Jones-Dennis told the court that she strongly suspected her husband of having an affair at the time of the murder. When questioned by Sheriff Department detectives on the day of the murder, she gave officers several names of local women that Dennis had either been involved with in the past or that she suspected him of having inappropriate relationships with at the time of the murder.
When asked how she came to suspect Dennis of having an affair, she told the court that she checked his Medco.com prescription management website and discovered he had been ordering various medications for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. Jones-Dennis later stated , “I knew he wasn’t taking them for me.”
Jones-Dennis stated to the court that she strongly suspected on the day of the murder that her husband had arranged a rendezvous with someone at a friend’s cabin on Huckleberry Trail in Redding Township. When she arrived at the cabin, she fully expected to catch Dennis and another woman in the act of adultery. Instead, she found her husband lying face down on the sofa with a bullet wound in his head.
Jones-Dennis had caught her husband in the company of someone whom she described as a “foreign woman” on his birthday, November 12, 2012, at the Soaring Eagle Casino. She stated that Dennis and the unknown foreign woman, now known to be Bass, walked right past her on their way to their hotel room.
According to audio and video recordings made by Clare County Sheriff’s Department Detective Michael Coon, Bass confessed that she first met Floyd Dennis at the Soaring Eagle Casino in Mt. Pleasant. She referred to Dennis as her “gambling buddy” and later her “sex partner.” Both Dennis and Bass were habitual gamblers frequenting the High Stakes Poker tables 5 to 6 times per week, sometimes dropping as much as $13,000 at a time.
Bass told Detective Coon that Dennis regularly gave her money to gamble with and would routinely remind her that she owed him a lot of money in order to obtain sexual favors from her. She stated that at no time during her relationship with Dennis did she ever feel threatened for her safety.
Bass told Detective Coon that it was her intention to meet Dennis at the cabin on the day of the murder to discuss ending their relationship. Dennis had previously told her that his wife was suspicious that he was seeing someone. Bass was also afraid that her husband would somehow find out about her affair with Dennis. Bass stated that all Dennis would say was, “You know you still owe me a lot.”
When asked why she took a loaded weapon with her on the day she met Dennis at the cabin, she replied, “I just wanted it to end. I just pointed and shot. I shut my eyes and pulled the trigger. He just laid there, and I went back to the casino.”
Clare County Prosecutor Michelle Ambrozaitis and Assistant Attorney General Angela Povilaitis worked as a team to represent the People of the State of Michigan in the matter. The conclusion of the preliminary examination is scheduled for Thursday, May 30th.