Report: Rockford man murdered; ex-con charged

Kent County
Man sitting on porch stairs

An undated courtesy photo of Jason Stefanski. (Jason Stefanski/Facebook)

DRYDEN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — An Oakland County man is in custody in connection to the murder of a Rockford man.

The shooting happened just before 3 a.m. Sunday on Hollow Corners Road in Lapeer County’s Dryden Township, located about 28 miles southeast of Flint.

NBC affiliate WEYI reports a couple heard more than 15 gunshots and found 29-year-old Nicholas Palazzolo of Candillac in their backyard with a gunshot wound to his lower back.

A Lapeer officer called to the scene then found 35-year-old Jason Stefanski of Rockford dead in a ditch.

Police followed tire tracks at the scene to an SUV parked about 3 miles away. Officers said they found the driver still inside the SUV with a gun in his lap, according to WEYI. Police said the suspect led officers on a slow speed chase that ended when he rammed police cruisers and spun out. No officers were injured.

Lydell Dukes booking photo
A booking photo of Lydell Dukes. (Lapeer County Sheriff’s Office)

The suspect, identified as 37-year-old ex-con Lydell Dukes of Ferndale, has been arraigned on 10 charges including open murder. He remains in jail without bond.

Investigators tell WEYI Stefanski had family ties to the nearby Almont area. They believe the shooting was drug related.

Stefanski leaves behind his parents and four brothers. His funeral will take place at 11 a.m. on Sept. 16 at City Church in Rockford, according to his online obituary.


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