Black Teen Beats, Burns Elderly Neighbor to Death
Black teen beats, burns elderly neighbor to death
Romulus, Michigan – Paul Monchnik was a widowed, 91 year old retired TV repairman with three children. He had lived in his house for 65 years. Early last Monday morning, a 17 year old neighbor allegedly beat him, then set his house on fire.
The hunt for a killer
They obtained the surveillance tape from the gas station, and put out a request for help in identifying the person responsible.
“This is a horrible crime, we’re asking for your help. We’re going to do everything we can to identify this person. We do know there was a burglary. We believe during the suspect’s entry into this home, there was an attack. However, in order for the suspect to cover his tracks, he decided to leave the location, obtain some gasoline, return and set the victim and home on fire.” Police Chief James Craig
Monchnik lived in a culdesac where his son knew people looked out for each other. His father’s neighbors often assisted his Dad when he needed it- things such as mowing his lawn.
The suspect turned out to be a neighbor. And it was his own grandfather who went to the police after seeing the video.
George Robert Steward, 17, reportedly entered Monchniks’s home early Monday morning with the intent to steal. But an attack soon followed, and the boy allegedly beat him, then went out and bought gasoline to burn the house down in an effort to cover his tracks.
Police arrived at 3 a.m. to the report of a house fire. Monchnik’s body was found to have a head injury, as well as severe burns. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Surveillance video from the day of the murder showed Steward driving Monchnik’s silver minivan to the gas station, where he purchased the gas in a container that was used to torch the house.
“The alleged facts in this case are that the defendant killed his elderly neighbor by beating him and attempting to burn the evidence. The word heinous does not even begin to describe this crime.” Prosecutor Kim Worthy
That it was a valued neighbor struck Scott Monchnik with sadness. That family has been helping his father with odd jobs around the home for a long time.
“These neighbors, actually, have been helping my dad for years. So I’m really having a hard time getting my head around the idea that someone from their family was involved.” Scott Monchnik
Steward’s grandfather would not comment on the incident, as he was broken by the loss of Paul Monchnik, his family friend, and the thought that his own grandson had something to do with it.
Steward was arraigned on November 26. He is charged with First Degree Murder, Felony Murder, and First Degree Arson, and was left in custody without bond. He faces life in prison.
The following video is Steward’s arraignment on November 26: