Caro man, who was caught after manhunt, released after plea deal
CARO – A man accused of attacking a family member and evading authorities in December has been released from jail following acceptance of a plea bargain. Nineteen-year-old Alexander M. Karjo – originally charged with nearly a dozen felonies – pleaded guilty on Jan. 23 to four counts of assaulting/resisting/obstructing a police officer in Tuscola County Circuit Court.
Judge Amy Grace Gierhart also agreed to defense attorney Gary Crews’ request to lower Karjo’s bond from $150,000 to a $10,000 personal recognizance bond – which means Karjo was released from the Tuscola County Jail, but would be responsible to pay $10,000 if he misses any future court appearances.
Karjo and his 65-year-old grandmother Susan A. Karjo were arrested the evening of Dec. 6 at Club 24 Sports Bar & Grill, just south of Caro in Indianfields Township. At about 3:30 p.m. that day, multiple police departments responded to an incident in the 100 block of East Congress Street in Caro for a report of an assault, and possible barricaded gunman.
It was discovered Karjo had allegedly assaulted his uncle at the residence. The victim told emergency dispatchers that Karjo had “pistol-whipped” him and stabbed him in the back with a knife. The victim also said Karjo told him he had a loaded assault rifle in the home – a residence Karjo shared with his grandmother.
According to the police report, Caro Police Department officers arrived and when no one answered the door, called for back-up and set up a perimeter. First responders learned the alleged victim had gone to a local hospital for treatment of a stab wound, and that Karjo had fled the scene.
The Caro Police Department, Michigan State Police, and officers from other agencies began searching for the suspect. A helicopter and K-9 unit from the MSP joined the search. The MSP cleared the area at about 7 p.m. when the suspect could not be located. No shots were fired during the incident, and no assault rifle was found in the dwelling.
A non-functioning starter pistol and knife were recovered from the scene. Investigators say the suspect likely was driven away from the scene by Susan Karjo and began searching for her vehicle. At about 7:50 p.m. that night, an off-duty Michigan State Police trooper noticed the vehicle in the parking lot of Club 24.
Caro police officers and state troopers arrived at the restaurant and located Alexander Karjo hiding under blankets in the back of a Chevrolet Suburban. The grandmother was taken into custody inside the business. Alexander Karjo was not cooperative with officers but was taken into custody with minimal resistance, the MSP reported.
Alexander Karjo was charged with assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder or by strangulation (10-year felony), two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon (four-year felony), lying to a peace officer investigating a felony with a maximum prison sentence of at least four years (two-year felony), seven counts of assaulting/resisting/obstructing a police officer (two-year felony), and domestic violence (93-day misdemeanor).
As part of his plea, all remaining charges were dismissed. The case against Susan Karjo is pending. She is charged with obstruction of justice (five-year felony), two counts of lying to a peace officer investigating a felony with a maximum prison sentence of at least four years, and two counts of assaulting/resisting/obstructing a police officer. Alexander Karjo will be sentenced at an upcoming hearing.