November 27, 2022
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Man testifies Burton man offered money to have harm inflicted on business associate

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FLINT, MI – Genesee County prosecutors on Friday called two witnesses to testify during the preliminary examination of Steven Craven, a man accused of offering thousands of dollars in cryptocurrency in soliciting others to inflict varying degrees of harm against one of his business associates.

Craven, of Burton, appeared before Genesee County District Court Judge William H. Crawford Friday, June 3, for a preliminary examination on one count of solicitation of murder.

If convicted of the felony, he faces imprisonment for life or any term of years.

Craven previously openly offered increasing amounts of cryptocurrency depending on the severity of physical harm inflicted upon the victim, with the greatest payout being for causing death and a lesser amount for inflicting “great bodily harm,” according to statements contained in a Michigan State Police report.

MLive-The Flint Journal obtained those records through a Freedom of Information Act request.

Related: Michigan men offered thousands in cryptocurrency for ‘physical harm’ against business associate: police report

Testimony provided by two witnesses during Friday’s examination mirrored statements made to police, according to those reports.

Macon Morgan, a business associate of Craven’s, testified at Friday’s hearing that he had warned the victim in the case that Craven and a man named Joshua Barrett were planning to burn down Vehicle City Social, a private, cannabis-friendly lounge. Craven and the victim were business partners at Vehicle City Social.

“They were gonna burn his building down first and then they were going to sue him for a company called Skunk Works, which is a fertilizer company, and afterwards, they wanted me to kill (the victim),” Morgan said.

Morgan said Craven discussed burning the building down in May 2021 but then told him to hold off because of a discrepancy on the business’ insurance. After those discussions, things escalated to Craven wanting the victim murdered, Morgan said.

The man said Craven at one point showed him how to get in and out of Vehicle City Social.

“He said he would give me $15,000 in cryptocurrency, said it would be the easiest money I ever made,” Morgan said.

The offer was increased to $25,000 in cryptocurrency for murder, Morgan said.

Another man, Keith Baugh, testified that Craven had discussed how he believed financial difficulties amassed by his businesses were the fault of the victim. He also said Craven no longer wanted to be a part-owner of Vehicle City Social.

Baugh described a conversation he overheard in which Craven allegedly told Barrett he wanted the victim “out of the picture.”

“(He) never mentioned the word kill, never mentioned murder, he never mentioned harm,” he said. “But he did say that he wanted him out of the picture and would do whatever it takes. (He said), ‘I have bitcoin and I can pay someone Bitcoin because it can’t be traced.’”

Craven was arrested in April and lodged at the Genesee County Jail on the solicitation of the murder charge. Barrett was originally charged as well, but prosecutors late last month filed a form dismissing the criminal charges against Barrett, according to Genesee County district court records.

Michael Ewing, an attorney for Craven, said prosecutors plan to have Barrett testify against Craven at trial.

Craven, who had been previously given a personal recognizance bond, had that revoked and appeared in court Friday wearing an orange jumpsuit.

Prosecutors asked for an adjournment after testimony from the two witnesses Friday. The next examination date is pending.

Read more at The Flint Journal:

1 dead, 1 in custody after shooting at Burton apartment complex

Flint boy in critical condition following shooting on city’s west side

Victim’s boyfriend recounts moments leading up to, after fatal Flint Township shooting

Reward offered for information in unsolved Flint homicide from January 2021



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