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5 charged in slayings, abduction of women

DETROIT — Five men have been charged in the abduction and slayings of two Michigan women who were kidnapped and stuffed in a car trunk at gunpoint, a prosecutor said Saturday.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy announced the charges during a morning news conference.

The men are being charged in the deaths of friends and roommates Abreeya Brown, 18, and Ashley Conaway, 22, who were abducted on Feb. 28. Their bodies were discovered March 25 in shallow graves in a wooded area on Detroit's west side, not far from their home in Hamtramck. The women had been bound and shot in the head.

Brandon Cain, 26, Miguel Rodriguez, 24, Reginald Brown, 24, Jeremy Brown, 19, and Brian Lee, 25, all of Detroit, are charged with two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of felony murder, two counts of torture and two counts of unlawful imprisonment.

Authorities said Conaway may have been targeted for telling police Lee and Cain shot at her nearly three weeks before the abduction.

The two men face attempted murder charges in that case in Wayne County Circuit Court, where they are accused of shooting at Abreeya Brown and Conaway's car on Feb. 8. Witnesses have said Cain had been pursuing Conaway romantically.

Worthy said the case serves as a reminder about the importance of witness protection.

"This case represents many of our fears when it comes to vital witnesses in a case," she said. "These women were heroic. They refused to relent and let these defendants deter them from continuing on with their previous case, and they paid with their lives."