GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - Nearly three months after the Ravenna bank robbery that led to the deaths of Walker Police Officer Trevor Slot and the two suspects, questions are being raised by the families of the robbers.
"I want to know how many bullet holes are in my boy's body," said Derryl LaFave Sr. of Dutton. "I have the right to know. You killed my boy for what he did, and he did a very terrible thing and he got what he deserved, if he deserved to get it."
The family of one of the suspects has retained an attorney to investigate the deaths. That attorney, who wouldn't identify his client, said he filed a Freedom of Information Act request on Tuesday with the FBI and planned to do the same with the Michigan State Police.
He said the family hasn't decided whether to take legal action.
LaFave said it's not his family that retained the attorney, though he said he's talked to one. The family of the other suspect Kristopher Cheyne could not be reached today.
Derryl LaFave's father says he and his family also are suffering and the lack of answers only makes it worse.
"I think they messed up and they're trying to cover their butt, because it don't make sense to me and I don't think it makes sense to anybody else," he said.
Derryl LaFave Jr. and Kristopher Cheyne robbed the ChoiceOne bank in Ravenna on Oct. 13th, leading to a chase with Cheyne at the wheel. It ended with the death of Officer Trevor Slot, who was struck as he prepared to deploy Stop Sticks.
Police later shot and killed LaFave Jr. and Cheyne in a shootout .
Target 8 obtained dispatch tapes showing FBI agents were tracking the suspects through GPS before the Ravenna robbery.
Among the family's questions: When did they start tracking them?
The FBI has said it was investigating the two for earlier bank heists in Moline.
"I want to know why the FBI allowed it to go as far as it did," LaFave said.
And, the family wonders, could the FBI have stopped the pursuit earlier, when FBI agents were ahead of the getaway car, a blue Bravada, on a country road just south of the Ravenna bank?
"Why did they allow it to get into a high-speed chase? Why didn't they tell all local units, 'just back off and don't do a thing, we've got it under control?' LaFave Sr. questioned.
"They could have turned their vehicle, blocked that road off, turned 'em into a ditch, whatever, on a rural road. Whether it was a shootout then, don't know, nobody knows, because they didn't do it. They allowed it to turn into what it turned into."
Despite that, he said, he knows none of this would have happened had his son and Cheyne not robbed the bank:
"He got what he deserved, doing what he did, but I feel it could have been prevented."
The FBI has said repeatedly that it can't talk about details because the investigation is still open. It has said, however, that its agents did not know the robbers were going to hit that bank and that agents did not see the robbery happen.
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