Murder trial of man accused of killing retired postal worker Ann Arbor begins

ANN ARBOR, MI – The fate of a man accused of strangling a retired postal worker at his Ann Arbor home more than two years ago is being decided in the Washtenaw County Trial Court this week.

The jury selection began on Monday, November 8th, for the murder trial of Christopher Michael Cheatham, who is accused of killing Richard “Dick” Fortune, who died on February 20, 2019 at a social check-up at his home in Ann Arbor in The US was found dead 2600 block of Lillian Road.

Cheatham, 27, is charged with three charges of overt homicide and illegal use of a financial transaction device, and three charges of theft of a financial transaction device.

He is also facing two charges of obtaining and hiding stolen property under $ 200.

The Ann Arbor man killed remembers his living garden and personality

Cheatham was identified as a suspect and arrested in July 2019 on charges of killing 71-year-old retired postal worker Ann Arbor, records show.

Cheatham has been linked to Fortune’s death through both “biological evidence” found in Fortune’s bedroom and cell phone data found by police, Assistant Prosecutor Nimish Ganatra said during the indictment.

Cheatham was one of several tenants living in Fortune’s house at the time of his death, prosecutors said earlier.

The additional unrelated charges come from Cheatham, who was found in possession of several stolen credit cards unrelated to the murder and not part of Fortune, police previously said.

An autopsy report obtained from MLive / The Ann Arbor News through a Freedom of Information Act request stated that Fortune had been strangled and tarpaulin wrapped in his home.

The case was initially delayed as Cheatham was admitted to the state center for forensic psychiatry to undergo a mental literacy assessment to determine whether he is fit to stand, followed by delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The trial is currently pending before Washtenaw County Trial Judge Carol Kuhnke. Cheatham faces possible life imprisonment if convicted.

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