GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.— The fight to uncover what really happened that led to the tragic death of Nation of Islam Student Minister Robert Dion Muhammad is far from over.
Two days of intense oral arguments in continued hearings in the wrongful death lawsuit filed on behalf of his widow, Yreva Muhammad, were presented recently in front of Judge J. Joseph Rossi who ruled on several motions filed by both sides.
Some rulings were in favor of the plaintiff, Yreva Muhammad, others were in favor of the defendants.
Courtroom D at the Kent County Circuit Court was packed Aug. 23 as family members of Robert Muhammad and a delegation of Muslims from the Nation of Islam, including the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and members of the Executive Council sat quietly and unflinching while observing proceedings.
“There is a universal hallmark to the truth. The truth doesn’t change. It won’t be inconsistent,” Attorney Berve Power Muhammad stated in his opening remarks during the first motion argued that day filed on behalf of his client. He represents Yreva Muhammad and the estate of Robert Muhammad. Attorney Sadiyah Evangelista Karriem also serves on Mrs. Muhammad’s legal team.
Robert Muhammad, 39-year-old husband, father of eight and student minister of the Nation of Islam’s Grand Rapids Study Group went missing in the waters of Muskegon State Park’s campground beach September 5, 2014 during an outing with co-workers. His body was found the next day in Muskegon Lake on what would have been his 40th birthday.
Without conducting a criminal investigation, authorities stated Robert Muhammad struggled while swimming back to a boat situated offshore that belonged to one of his co-workers and ruled his death an accidental drowning. Others are not so sure pointing to photos of his body after it was pulled from the water that revealed multiple bruises and contusions on the young student minister’s face, along with other questionable findings.
His widow filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Bertrand Thibault, Daniel Moore, Michael Champrenault, Nicholas Pelfrene, William Gresley, Matthew Kamps and Sebastien Lebon. They were with her husband that fateful day at the lake. The suit alleges they are responsible for his death and wants the case to go to trial and decided in front of a jury. A team of nearly a dozen attorneys for the various defendants’ claim the lawsuit is frivolous, want the suit dropped and argue that what happened to Robert Muhammad was no more than just a tragic accident.