Drug deal, robbery, and fight before fatal shooting in Muskegon Heights

A 21-year-old Muskegon Heights man may face trial on an open murder charge following a December shooting.

An open murder charge against a Muskegon Heights man will move to circuit court for a possible trial.

Masson Bryant, 21, is charged with causing the death of Nathan Ward, 42, on Jefferson Street Dec. 21, 2017.

Witness Joshua Bowlin testified Tuesday that he and Ward went to Bryant's home to purchase cocaine from Bryant. Bowlin says he also had marijuana he hoped to trade for cocaine.

Once inside the home Bowlin testified Bryant appeared from a back room of the home with a .22 caliber rifle. One shot was fired into the ceiling.

"Nate jumped up and was please do not do this I have a family, girlfriend, kids," said Bowlin.

Bowlin says at one point he rushed Bryant and knocked the gun away from him. It's then Ward ran out the front door.

"I slammed the defendant into the corner of the wall in an attempt to knock him out so that I could make a hasty exit," said Bowlin.

Ward and Bowlin attempted to get into Ward's truck. At some point Ward was shot.

Bowlin says then Bryant fired at him too. He told the judge the truck's window saved his life.

"I thought I was shot in the face, apparently it was just from the glass," said Bowlin. "I just laid down and played dead at that point and hoped he wouldn't come and empty the magazine into me."

After the shooting police say Bryant ran from the scene. Ward died at the scene.

On Dec. 22, Bryant turned himself into police. A Muskegon Heights detective testified that Bryant admitted he had a gun that night, but only used it in self defense.

Muskegon County District Judge Geoffrey Nolan bond Bryant over to circuit court on the open murder charge.

He's being held in the Muskegon County jail on a $1 million bond.

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