Criminal Justice

Lawyer shot at his home was targeted for theft by acquaintance and 3 others, say authorities


A woman who knew Michigan attorney David Neil Zacks is accused of recruiting three male friends in a botched attempt to steal from him at his Bloomfield Hills home that instead resulted in his shooting.

Cassandra Chobod, whose age has been reported as both 23 and 28, Christopher Hernandez-Montiel, 20, Devon Miller, 21, and Henry Williams, 20, are charged with multiple felonies in the April 30 attack on Zacks, who was shot multiple times through the front door of his home. Police say Miller demanded entry, falsely claiming to be a police officer, then shot at Zacks after the attorney told his wife to call police, according to the Detroit Free Press.

The four defendants appeared in court on Monday. Zacks, a 57-year-old partner of Ishbia & Gagleard, is still hospitalized.

Chobod and Zacks “knew each other on a personal level,” Bloomfield Hills police chief David Hendrickson told the Detroit Free Press earlier. “She then came up with a plan to rob him using her friends, and the robbery attempt went bad.”

Hendrickson called Chobad the mastermind of the crime, saying that she knew Zacks, although he declined to describe their relationship, and had previously visited his home. “We know she had been in the home before, knew him, knew the layout and what was inside,” the chief told the newspaper.

Initially, the four planned to steal from the Zacks home, thinking no one would be there, the chief said. When they discovered people were inside the home, the four went to Detroit for a gun, then returned.

Miller rang the bell, then claimed to be a Bloomfield Hills police officer when Zacks appeared at a window, Hendrickson continued. Hearing Zacks tell his wife to call police, Miller then allegedly shot at the attorney through the closed door.

In addition to Zacks and his wife, their daughter, 7, an adult son and a house guest were all at the home.

Chobod and Hernandez-Montiel are being held in lieu of $2 million bond; Miller, who admitted firing a gun on April 30, and Williams are being held in lieu of $5 million bond because both are on probation for bank robbery, reports the Detroit News.

“I will say this was not your run-of-the-mill home invasion,” Chobod’s court-appointed lawyer, Markeisha Washington, told the Free Press after Monday’s hearing in 48th District Court. “But the police report itself contains more than 100 pages and I really need to review it in-depth before I can make any statements about the case.”

A lawyer for Hernandez-Montiel described him as “a real good kid” who has never before been in trouble, reports CBS Detroit.

The articles don’t include comment from lawyers for the other two defendants.

See also:

ABAJournal.com: “White-collar criminal defense lawyer is shot by man posing as police officer”

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