The Rev. Marvin Winans had a warrant out for his arrest on driving-related offenses when he was carjacked last week in a case that grabbed national headlines, records show.
The warrant was issued March 15 for failing to appear in a Hazel Park court after he was ticketed for driving with a suspended license.
The state suspended his license most recently on May 9 after he didn’t pay two tickets issued in December in Hazel Park, Michigan Secretary of State records show. One was for previously driving on a suspended license; the other was for impeding traffic.
The gospel singer didn’t show at a March hearing in 43rd District Court in Hazel Park on the two tickets and a warrant was issued for his arrest, according to a court official.
Winans likely didn’t know about the issues because his staffers generally handle those personal issues, his spokeswoman, Erma Byrd, said Thursday morning. The notices weren’t received because he had changed addresses, and staffers recently discovered the unpaid tickets before the carjacking, she said.
“The issue is being addressed,” Byrd said. “A lot of that is handled by his administrative team, not by him.”
Winans released a statement Thursday afternoon that stated:
“The traffic issues listed in driver’s record that was recently released was in the process of being handled prior to the Wednesday, May 16 incident. The proof of payment and formal letter addressing the issue was submitted. I was not aware of any suspension of license due to change of address. All day-to-day correspondences are facilitated by my administrative staff. If something was a matter of great urgency they would have brought it to my attention”
Prosecutors have charged three men in the Winans carjacking. He said he was headed to Toledo to visit a pastor when he stopped for gas at Linwood and Davison. The men took his 2012 Infiniti QX56, Rolex watch and wallet. Since the incident, Winans has said he hopes the carjacking acts as a catalyst to launching a “sustainable initiative” to help troubled youths.
Winans has been ticketed 11 times since 2009, including for speeding and disobeying a traffic signal. He has had four other license suspensions for not paying fees dating to 2006, according to state records.
[Via Detroit News]