Evidence from polygraph leaker at issue in Stislicki murder case
By Aileen Wingblad
Is evidence obtained from leaked polygraph findings of Danielle Stislicki’s accused killer admissible in his upcoming trial — or will it be tossed?
That’s for Oakland County Circuit Judge Phyllis Mc-Millen to decide in the case against Floyd Russell Galloway, charged with firstdegree premeditated murder for the death of Stislicki, who went missing more than five and a-half years ago. Her body hasn’t been found, but prosecutors with the Attorney General’s Office — which took over the case in 2019 — contend Stislicki was killed by Galloway, the last person known to have been seen with her.
Stislicki disappeared Dec. 2, 2016, after leaving the MetLife building in Southfield where she worked. She was supposed to meet up with a friend that evening for dinner, but never showed. Galloway was a former security guard at the MetLife building and was the last known person seen with Stislicki, 28 at the time.
At issue are results of a lie detector Galloway’s attorney at the time had him take a few days after Stislicki went missing and he became a person of interest. The polygraph operator, former FBI agent James Hoppe, subsequently contacted Troy’s police chief at the time, Gary Mayer, to share details on what he said he learned from Galloway’s test and strongly urged him to keep his name out of it, according to court records.
The tip, according to court records and testimony, stated that “the security guard did it,” and that he had driven Stislicki’s vehicle back to her apartment, then walked to a nearby Tim Hortons and disposed of her keys and Fitbit along the way. The tip also stated that Stislicki’s cell phone was thrown in the trash at the Tim Hortons, that Galloway called a cab from the restaurant for a ride back to Southfield where he’d left his car, and that Stislicki’s body was wrapped in a beige and brown comforter.
Mayer then shared the information with Farmington Hills’ then-Police Chief Chuck Nebus. The investigation was in its infancy at the time, and Nebus in turn passed the information along to some of his staff as an anonymous but credible tip given to him by the Troy police chief, according to court records and testimony. Soon after Nebus got the tip, police acted on it and subsequently found Stislicki’s Fitbit and car keys, and viewed surveillance footage from the Tim Horton’s restaurant and a nearby gas station where Galloway is reportedly seen.
Weeks later, Nebus also shared the information with then-Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper and Chief Assistant Prosecutor Paul Walton, telling them it came from Mayer but that he didn’t know who tipped off Mayer, court records show.
Prosecutors say they have plenty of other evidence on Galloway, including Stislicki’s DNA and other findings from his Berkley home, additional surveillance video, witness testimony and more. Before the polygraph tip came in, 11 warrants had already been conducted in the case, investigators said.
Former prosecutor Jessica Cooper says she only got ‘hearsay’
Galloway’s defense attorney Ellen Michaels, on the case since late 2019, is challenging the evidence reportedly obtained because, she said, the tip is “a constitutional violation of due process” and attorney-client privilege, as well as denies the right to a fair trial.
Michaels also maintains that the prosecution has held back information and that Farmington Hills police investigators didn’t update their reports with pertinent details. “They kept it in the shadows,” she said, outside of court Monday.
So far, McMillen has held evidentiary hearings on May 3 and June 13, where Nebus and other law enforcement connected to the case have testified about when they learned about the tip and what information was shared with them. Police investigators have testified that they neither attempted to determine the identity of the tipster nor were forbidden to do so by Nebus.
Nebus also testified that he didn’t pursue the tipster’s identity.
And Hoppe’s name was reportedly kept out of it — until Feb. 19, 2019 when Wayne County Circuit Judge Timothy Kenny acted on an investigative subpoena by the Attorney General’s Office and compelled Mayer to reveal the tipster’s name.
Testimony heard by the court June 13 included that of law enforcement as well as former Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper, who said she couldn’t recall when she first heard the tip and didn’t know the originator’s identity until after the Wayne County circuit court hearing. She also denied discussing it with Mayer.
Cooper further claimed to have scant recollection of what went on with the
Stislicki case while she headed the prosecutor’s office, and she described Walton as a “filter” who shared highlights of cases with her. Her office, she said, handled “14,000 cases a year.”
“It’s a very large office… yes (the case) was interesting… but everything I ever got was hearsay,” Cooper said.
Michaels said she will call one witness to the stand — Walton — at what’s expected to be the last evidentiary hearing on the case. It’s scheduled for June 24.
Michaels said Walton wasn’t available June 13 due to his caseload at the Lapeer County Prosecutor’s Office, where he now works.
McMillen is expected to hear oral arguments in midto- late August. The trial has been pushed out to Nov. 28.
Galloway is serving a 16 to 35-year prison sentence for the kidnapping, criminal sexual conduct and assault of a woman in Hines Park in Wayne County that happened three months before Stislicki vanished. The conviction, however, can’t be used as evidence in Galloway’s upcoming trial, as ruled by the Michigan Court of Appeals. Appellate court judges said there aren’t strong similarities between the two cases to demonstrate motive, contrary to what the prosecution believes.
Ryan Molloy of the Farmington Hills Police Department was among those testifying at Monday’s hearing.
AILEEN WINGBLAD — THE OAKLAND PRESS
Outrageous. Will add more to comment section, below.
14 thoughts on “Dracula’s failure of recollection and use of Renfield as a “filter.” You can’t make this stuff up.”
Oh, my, the lies, secrets, deceit and Cooper having scant recollection” Will it ever end – NO.
And Judge Kenny in Wayne County having to clean up after these fools in Oakland County, AGAIN.
Bunch of Bozos!
Eeeww …you know what’s creepy ? That house they found mattress DNA ,is less than a block up the street from Jim Cox
Getting Walton under oath won’t help.
Here the private polygrapher (ex-FBI) was going to make sure a guilty man got caught by diming him to the chief of police for Troy. The private polygrapher for Chris Busch dimed him to Chet the “Polish Polygrapher” for the MSP and look how Busch ended up.
What’s really creepy is how history keeps repeating itself ! Brooks Patterson created a culture in oakland county that is ,still affecting victims past, present ,and future. I’m really proud of her family for not letting her slip thru the cracks.
Patterson and Thompson did incalculable damage to that office. Only their cronies and themselves benefitted. To every resident who puffs up their chest to offer that at least Patterson did amazing things for the business community in Oakland County (and made them a bunch of dough), I say this: It was on the back of four dead kids.
Cooper and Walton picked up the baton. Decades of damage to that office. The clean up, as evidenced by this article, is in progress and will be for a long time.
Oh my gosh, Cooper is THE WORST. I know she is a liar, but was she also incompetent as well? Did she ever take notes? (if so, she then shredded them I am sure).
I love how she contradicts herself in the article. First she says she has scant recollection of the case because she had so many cases (she did acknowledge this case was interesting. Imagine how little attention the non-interesting cases got.) Then she says “everything I ever got was hearsay”. So does she not remember anything or was the information hearsay? Hard to categorize something as hearsay if you don’t remember it.
She is despicable.
Sorry to comment again, but I am just steaming. Cathy, you must really empathize with Danielle’s family. My husband and I both remember details from this case and just know about it from media reports. For Cooper to refer to the murder of an individual as incidentally ‘interesting’ but not remember anything about it (except it was all hearsay)- I can’t imagine being the parents or a relative of poor Danielle. To read that the Prosecutor gave it so little attention must be a punch to the gut.
I also like how in 2019, Cooper declined to comment about why there hadn’t been any murder charges brought against Galloway by her office. At least Nessel got involved in this case, but imagine if she hadn’t…. Now Nessel needs to stand up in the OCCK as well.
In January 2020, I made the best pitch I could to Dana Nessel’s office and Karen McDonald’s office that after more than 40 years of wilful negligence and blatant incompetence, the OCCK case should be taken from the jurisdiction of the MSP. Both completely blew me off and did not respond to any of my arguments. The OCP provided FOIA documents, previously hidden away at the OCS office by her predecessor, but that is it.
Cooper certainly can’t be expected to remember much. She was far too busy trying to solve the OCCK cases
Busy managing her mood disorder and borderline personality issues.
Hahaha ..oh man that made me laugh out loud . She always looks constipated, bound up with the knowledge she’s going hell.
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