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Man Shot By Homeowner Was Facing Felony Charges -- including home invasion -- and how he's facing his maker

Originally ran here as:
"Man shot by homeowner was facing charges"
by Doug Guthrie, The Grand Rapids Press
Michigan Live
November 28, 2001

CEDAR SPRINGS, Michigan -- An alleged intruder shot to death Saturday by a Cedar Springs homeowner was scheduled for trial this week on a host of felony charges -- including home invasion -- stemming from a July incident.

Kevin Lee Salinas, 22, suffered a fatal bullet wound to the abdomen about 3:30 a.m. Saturday after being ordered off the back porch of a home owned by Robert J. Clarke, 48. Salinas died about eight hours later at Spectrum Health Butterworth in Grand Rapids.

The homeowner told police that Salinas took at least one step toward him, after disregarding the warning to leave, before the shot was fired, according to Cedar Springs police.

Kent County Prosecutor William Forsyth had not announced a decision Tuesday about whether Clarke's action was justified. Forsyth likely will issue an opinion by the end of this week or early next week.

Salinas was due to appear Monday before Kent County Circuit Judge Donald Johnston to stand trial for a July incident where he is alleged to have assaulted an ex-girlfriend after breaking into her home, then knocked down a neighbor's porch trying to chase the woman and the neighbor with his car.

Kent County sheriff's deputies said they chased Salinas' car for two miles before he fled on foot. Deputies said Salinas then climbed a tree and refused to come down.

Salinas eventually was arrested, and although he refused to take a portable blood-alcohol test, a later test showed his level was higher than the limit set for driving, according to court records.

Salinas was charged with home invasion, malicious destruction of property, felonious assault, fleeing and eluding a police officer, resisting and opposing a police officer and drunken driving. He faced up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Cedar Springs Police Chief Roger Gren said Tuesday that his investigators have concentrated solely on Saturday's incident and were unaware of the pending charges against Salinas.

"That would have nothing to do with our case, but it might explain why he ran," Gren said. "It might say something about his behavior or his state of mind."

Salinas and a friend ran when a Cedar Springs patrol officer spotted them hitchhiking. Their car reportedly had broken down.

The friend was caught and arrested on an outstanding bench warrant, but Salinas got away. If he had been drinking, as police suspect, Salinas might also have been arrested for violating his probation for a conviction on a May larceny charge.

Records also show he was wanted on a bench warrant issued by Rockford District Judge Steven Servaas for an alleged domestic assault in April.

Clarke said he was awakened a short time later by what he thought was the sound of someone trying to enter the doors and windows of his house at 153 W. Pine St. Clarke allegedly took his registered 9 mm handgun to confront Salinas and order him off the property before firing the fatal shot.

State law permits the use of deadly force when life is threatened or in cases of home invasion.

Gren said investigators still are waiting for a toxicology report on blood taken from Salinas during an autopsy.

The report is expected to tell if Salinas was intoxicated at the time of his death. He reportedly had been drinking prior to Saturday's incident.

Services for Salinas were to be held at 1 p.m. today at Cedar Springs Free Methodist Church. Burial was to follow at Solon Township Cemetery. Salinas is survived by a 3-year-old son, Kayleb Lee Salinas; his mother, Janet Carpentier, of Cedar Springs; and his father Rogelio "Roy" Salinas of Grand Rapids.

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