28-year-old murder resurfaces in court

St. Clair Circuit Court to hold hearing for Freeman/Kensu

Erick Fredendall
Editor-in-Chief

On Nov. 5, 1986, at 9 a.m., Scott Macklem, son of the then current mayor of Croswell, was fatally wounded as a shotgun round tore through his body while he stood next to his car in the SC4 parking lot.
Thus far, this was the only murder ever to occur on SC4 grounds.
Four days later, a man named Frederick Freeman was taken into custody while using a pay phone at a coffee shop in Troy, MI, for questioning related to the murder of Scott Macklem.
In August of 1987, Freeman was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole.
According to information obtained from the Michigan Department of Correction’s directory, Frederick Thomas Freeman, now known as Temujin Kensu, now 50 years-old, is currently serving the sentence at the Thumb Correctional Facility.
After multiple appeals for a new trial, a hearing will be held March 12 in the St. Clair County Circuit Court with circuit court judge Michael West residing.
The hearing, passed to the circuit court following an appellate order from the Michigan Supreme Court, will determine whether the evidence being presented by Freeman/Kensu’s legal team merits a new trial.
The evidence in question are photographs, obtained by Freeman’s legal team under a Freedom of Information Act request.
According to Joe Viola, filmmaker and advocate for Freeman/Kensu, the photographs used to identify Freeman/Kensu by the witnesses were not the same images that were presented to the jury.
Viola, along with retired WXYZ reporter Bill Proctor, participated in filming the 2007 documentary “Justice Incarcerated,” an in-depth investigation into the Freeman case.
A key component of the prosecutor case was Philip Joplin, a fellow inmate during the time that Freeman was on trial.
In “Justice Incarcerated,” Philip Joplin recanted previous testimony given during the trial, when he claimed that Freeman admitted to killing Macklem with a shotgun.
The documentary also showed Freeman/Kensu taking a polygraph test. Results indicated that Freeman was not lying when he denied responsibility in the death of Scott Macklem.
The St. Clair County Prosecutor, Michael Wendling, could not be reached for comment.
The Erie Square Gazette will continue to follow the Temujin Kensu case in the next issue, which will be available March 13.

Contact Erick Fredendall at ejfredendall@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @MrFredendall.

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