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Keeping his eye on the news and offering commentaries and insights on what is happening in Oakland County, around the world, on the tube and in the news.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Gas prices and murder


Ok, I paid $2.85 this morning, not quite filling up in Rochester Hills. A nice family owns the station and I like to go there and say good morning. Same people have been there ever since I moved into the area.

Driving to the office, I passed stations in Pontiac that were on Perry Street, selling first for $2.57 and then $2.55. Wow, big difference, I think.

Then I realize we're approaching the five-year anniversary of the murder of David Bingham, a father of two who was shot to death after surrendering his vehicle to a pair of teenage carjackers at a Perry Street gas station. The victim, I recall, had done everything right when confronted by the teens, who took his truck, drove around the block and then returned to eliminate the witness to their crime.

They were none too bright, being caught a short while later by patrolling officers. They had the man's property on them, I recall.

Christopher Eugene Jackson is 22 and has served five years of a life term. He'll never get out, as far as the law is concerned now. And though he was younger than 18 when he shot Bingham to death, the recent Supreme Court decision will not help him. (He killed someone, and the US's top court ruled life without parole was unfair for teenagers who had not killed.)

I covered the trial of one teenager (the other one pleaded to a lesser charge and testified) and it was horrific, hearing the shooting as Mr. Bingham talked to a 9-1-1 operator and then watching the video from the station's surveillance tapes.

I'm guessing this can influence why gas is cheaper in some areas.

During the sentencing, Jackson walked out of court, saying, "I'm going to bounce back." He's a level four (the second highest level) prisoner in Manistee County. He was absolutely horrible in court, defiant and disrespectful to the judge, attorneys and victim's family. For no real reason, he shot a man who was filling up on his way to work, on the morning after the July 4th holiday in 2005.

I'll pay the extra $3 or $4.

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3 Comments:

Anonymous William said...

I live in Novi and yesterday afternoon I actually asked the owner of my neighborhood gas station of choice about the difference in gas prices between Novi and some other cities.

I didn't get a straight answer from him because as soon as I asked he went off on a diatribe about property taxes, MIOSHA, and the "bloodsuckers" who hold his commercial property note.

Maybe since gasoline is an integral part of our economy and infrastructure we should consider different rules and rates for them as opposed to stores who retail products which are purchased with discretionary income?

May 27, 2010 at 7:12 AM 
Blogger Stephen Frye said...

Great point. I've long wondered if gas prices should be uniform, a single standard price. Set by the government? I guess so, because you wouldn't want a single business entity to set it. But they're so close generally anyway (except like now when oil falls fast and some stations are slow to lower their prices).

What would make the consumer pick a station was the cheapness of products, cleanliness of the store, and variety of other items to purchase.

May 27, 2010 at 9:45 AM 
Blogger Timothy P. Flynn said...

Steve: great post. I had forgotten this case. Hopefully, it's not something that would cause a single fixed gas price. Providing goods and services in high-crime areas is a real problem in Metro Detroit. The customers in the high-crime areas have very little choice. But whatever the solution, I don't think allowing the government to set prices is the answer. BTW, great coverage on the Bingham case.

June 7, 2010 at 7:58 PM 

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