This Metro Detroit writer is a Deadline Detroit associate who reports on organized crime and runs The Gangster Report website.
By Scott Burnstein
The police investigation into the murder of Motown’s “Ice King” Dan (“Hutch the Jeweler”) Hutchinson, the man responsible for outfitting some of the area’s biggest names in hip-hop and sports, could be more than you think with individual high-end jewellery.
Police have a suspect in custody. However, sources at the scene do not believe the man charged with the crime pulled the trigger.
Hutchinson, 47, was gunned down last Wednesday while behind the wheel of his GMC Denali SUV in the parking lot of an Oak Park pawn shop he recently bought.
The murder occurred on the corner of Greenfield and Miller, just down the street from his flagship store, Hutch’s Jewelry.
Roy Larry, 44, of Detroit was arrested less than an hour later after Hutchinson was pronounced dead at Providence Hospital in Southfield. Charged with first-degree murder and illegal possession of firearms, Larry pleaded not guilty to an arraignment in Oak Park 45th Circuit Court last Friday morning and was denied bail.
Oak Park Police say Larry opened fire on Hutchinson from outside his driver’s window, hitting him in the head, body and neck more than a dozen times. Witnesses at the scene say Larry was not the shooter and that another man — a 20 to 25-year-old Caucasian black man on a bicycle — was in fact the trigger. Larry is black.
“The man in the news, the man that the police are taking into custody for this murder, was not the man who committed the murder. … I should know, I was there,” said a witness who requested anonymity. “I don’t know what they’re hiding or why they’re trying to hide it.
“That guy Roy Larry isn’t the shooter though. I have never seen him. The shooter was on the bike and was at least 20 years younger and much lighter.”
One of those witnesses says the man on the bike was hit by a car in the pawn shop parking lot shortly after Hutchinson was shot and taken to Providence Hospital. According to the witness who was in the hospital, he was arrested at his bedside after the operation.
“They have the shooter in custody, they’re just not telling anyone,” the witness said. “Roy Larry is either an accomplice, not the shooter, which is contrary to what police are telling the public, or he’s a scapegoat and there’s a lot more to see behind the scenes.”
Hutchinson’s wife, Marissa, was sitting next to him when he was shot but was not wounded. Hutchinson’s murder was “a contract hit,” according to Oak Park police officers. A motive has yet to be determined.
In interviews with Deadline Detroit, multiple sources speculated that the hit could stem from rumors circulating on the Detroit streets during the winter that DEA and IRS agents were pressing Hutch for information about drug dealers laundering money through jewelry stores in the area .
Two other sources who knew Hutch well also speculated, saying it might have something to do with the recent pawn shop purchase, but they didn’t elaborate.
Hutchinson’s family started the Hutch’s Jewelry chain in the 1990s in the now-closed Northland Mall.
Prominent local rappers such as Big Sean, Tee Grizzley, Sada Baby, 42 Dugg, Icewear Vezzo, BabyTron, Skilla Baby and Payroll Giovanni have all been loyal patrons of Hutch’s Jewlers. Cade Cunningham and Isiah Stewart of the Detroit Pistons posed at the store last September.
“I used to bring all my early rap money to Hutch,” Payroll Giovanni said. “It was $100 back then. Then, when I had the scratch, I spent $100,000 on a diamond link. It was a goal of mine. I don’t wear it often, only on special occasions. I still can’t believe he’s gone. That they would treat him like that in his own town. Damn it, RIP Hutch.”
Local drug lords and dopeboys also stopped by Hutch’s stores and bought his jewelry. Hutch’s specialties were diamond-encrusted Old English D Detroit icons and Cartier sunglasses, a status symbol among the Motor City’s hip-hop and pro-sport crowds.
His brazen killings grabbed headlines across the country, and rappers and jocks from coast to coast shared memories and condolences on social media. Miami rapper Rick Ross often called out to Hutch on his Instagram, including a 2019 post in which he showed off several necklaces and rings he bought at the jewelry store on a trip to Detroit.
Neither Oak Park Police investigators nor Detroit DEA officers responded to requests for comment.
Note: The jeweler, whose full name is Daniel Lee Hutchinson, Jr., was mourned at a candlelight vigil in Oak Park last Saturday, a family visit Monday in Royal Oak and a private funeral.
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