In the center of the University of Michigan’s Ann Arbor campus sits The Diag. And at the center of that open space of crisscrossed sidewalks sits a brass block “M.” Legend has it that a student who steps on the “M” before taking a Blue Book test will fail that exam.
While that bit of lore is fiction, it’s certainly true that a man who was charged with assault with intent to murder for his alleged role in a 2018 shooting near The Diag was recently arrested. Jacob Labelle was taken into custody in Chicago after a year-long search began when he fled just prior to his conviction on the assault charge.
According to law enforcement officials, Labelle was at State and University in May 2018 when a delivery driver made a stop at the Walgreens across from The Diag. A Washtenaw County Assistant Prosecutor argued at trial that Labelle became angry when he realized his car had been blocked in by the delivery truck.
He demanded that the driver move his vehicle, but his frustration quickly grew. The prosecutor said Labelle started looking in his backpack for his 10mm Glock handgun. He allegedly pulled the weapon from the bag and then “racks a round into the pistol, raises the pistol and fires one shot,” the prosecutor alleged. The bullet hit the delivery driver “just below the sternum” and tore a softball-sized hole in his body.
Fortunately for the driver, the first officer on the scene carried with him a chest seal – a medical device that keeps blood flowing in chest trauma victims. Surgery began a few minutes later at the U of M hospital and the driver was saved.
While the medical miracle is to be applauded, it does not answer the question of whether or not the suspect was responsible. That question can only be answered by the criminal justice system that includes a capable criminal defense attorney experienced in protecting at every step of the legal process the rights of the accused.