Today the Charlevoix County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office issued charges against an 82-year old Bay Township man for open murder, assault with intent to murder and two counts of using a firearm during the commission of felony.
According to police reports, yesterday on March 15, at his Bay Township residence, the man fatally shot a 51-year old woman five times and also shot a 77-year old woman twice. That woman suffered non-life threatening injuries.
The incident arose, according to reports, over the women taking away the man’s car keys and refusing to let him drive his car. A witness reported that the man suffers from dementia.
“The case is charged at this time as open murder which means that if the case were to go to trial, the jury would be asked to decide whether it is murder of the first or second degree,” Charlevoix County Prosecuting Attorney Allen Telgenhof said. “This charge can be modified later based upon new information.”
It is an affirmative defense to a prosecution for a criminal offense that the defendant was legally insane when he committed the acts constituting the offense. An individual is legally insane if, as a result of mental illness or as a result of having an intellectual disability, that person lacks substantial capacity either to appreciate the nature and quality of the wrongfulness of his conduct or to conform his conduct to the requirements of the law. Mental illness or having an intellectual disability does not otherwise constitute a defense of legal insanity.
A defendant has the burden of proving the defense of insanity by a preponderance of the evidence.
If a defendant proposes to raise an insanity defense, they must file a notice of their intention to assert an insanity defense with the court. If this is done, the court shall order the defendant to undergo an examination relating to the insanity claim by the Center for Forensic Psychiatry in Saline.
“We do not have enough information on this individual’s mental health condition and history to draw any conclusions at this time,” Telgenhof said. “Based upon the information and resources available to us, the charges that were filed are the best way to proceed at this time. He and the public are safe at this time.”