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Cousins charged with murder could face life sentence in Sault, Michigan

'This is not a case of a fight gone wrong or an auto accident. This was a very very very violent murder,' says Assistant Prosecutor

Two young Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. cousins face the possibility of life in prison after being charged with ‘open murder’ and theft of prescription drugs according to several Upper Pennisula news reports.

As reported by 9&10 News, cousins Jeremy Lehre, 18, and Aaron Lehre, 21, were arrested shortly after 3 a.m. Wednesday morning when police responded to a neighbour’s 911 call.

When police arrived on scene at the 200 block of W 12th Avenue,  Wesley Cook, 48, was found lying face down in his own blood and believed to have been beaten, reported 9&10.

“They found the victim face down on the ground — a lot of blood — severe injuries to his head and face area,” said Sault Ste. Marie Police Department Chief John Riley in a video interview with 9&10, who added that the Lehre cousins were acquaintances of some sort with Cook.

Cook was taken to War Memorial Hospital then flown to Ann Arbour where he succumbed to his injuries, according to reports.

“This is not a case of a fight gone wrong or an auto accident. This was a very very very violent murder,” said Assistant Prosecutor Jillian Sadler during the cousins' arraignment on Thursday, as video taped by 9&10.

According to the Soo Evening News, Jeremy Lehre was arraigned on “open murder… tampering with evidence, malicious destruction of property exceeding $1,000 and larceny in a building involving the theft of prescription medications.”

Aaron Lehre was also charged with open murder, reported Soo Evening News, as well as “larceny in a building for stealing prescription medication and resisting and obstructing police.”

Both Lehres were denied bond and will be held in Chippewa County Jail until a Nov. 20 preliminary examination reported Soo Evening News, who also reported that no decision has yet been made on whether the cases will be separated.