Scales of Justice photo
Tim Evanson via Wikimedia | CC BY 3.0 /

A western Michigan judge us encouraging jurors to continue their deliberation in the trial of a former police officer charged with assisting his who killed and dismembered a woman.

The jury foreman says there’s consensus on one charge but not two others. Kent County Judge Paul Denenfeld is asking jurors not to give up.

Seventy-seven-year old, James Chance of Holland, is charged with perjury and being an accessory after the dismemberment of Ashley Young in 2018. His son, 30-year old Jared Chance, is serving a 100-year prison sentence for killing and dismembering Young.

Nick Lyon photo

Michigan's health director will stand trial on involuntary manslaughter charges in the deaths of two men linked to an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease in the Flint area.

Judge David Goggins on Monday ordered Nick Lyon to stand trial. Lyon is accused of failing to issue a timely alert about the outbreak. Some experts have blamed Legionnaires' on Flint's water, which wasn't properly treated when it was drawn from the Flint River in 2014 and 2015.

Goggins found there's probable cause for a trial. The legal standard isn't as high as beyond a reasonable doubt.

Scales of Justice photo
Tim Evanson via Wikimedia | CC BY 3.0 /

A prosecutor says a man convicted of fatally shooting a jogger and accused of kidnapping and killing a western Michigan gas station clerk possessed hundreds of videos of women being abducted, raped and killed.

Muskegon County Prosecutor D.J. Hilson spoke Tuesday during opening statements in the murder trial of Jeffrey Willis. Hilson says Willis also had computer files containing information about the cases of Rebekah Bletsch, the slain jogger, and Jessica Heeringa, the gas station clerk who disappeared from the Norton Shores gas station in 2013.

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Jeffrey Willis, the West Michigan man accused of murder and kidnapping will receive two trials.  Willis will face separate trials in the murder of a gas station clerk and the kidnapping of a teenager.

A Muskegon judge decided Monday that Willis first will stand trial next month for murder and kidnapping in the 2013 disappearance of gas station clerk, Jessica Heeringa.

That will be followed by a trial in a 2016 case in which a teenager escaped his van and went to police.

Prosecutors sought to combine the cases because of their similarities.

A man charged in connection with two slayings in Michigan is awaiting a key court hearing after being found competent for trial. The Kalamazoo Gazette reports judges in Kalamazoo and St. Joseph counties last month made rulings on competency after 32-year-old Zachary Patten of Portage underwent a psychiatric evaluation. He waived a key hearing in St. Joseph County to determine whether the case should go to trial and faces an Oct. 11 hearing on the same issue in Kalamazoo. 

A judge has ordered a psychiatric examination for a western Michigan woman accused of leaving her 6-month-old son in a car seat in her hot apartment for about two days. A judge Wednesday ordered 22-month-old Lovily Johnson of Wyoming to be examined by a state psychiatric expert. She's charged with murder and child abuse in the death of her son Noah.

A June 13 trial will be postponed in the case of a Michigan man charged with killing six people during a day of picking up Uber riders.

The Kalamazoo County prosecutor says Jason Dalton wants the state appeals court to review a decision about his statements to police.

The court might decline, but the step still means that the trial won't start as scheduled.

Dalton is charged with murder and attempted murder.

Investigators have quoted him as saying a "devil figure" on Uber's app was controlling him on the night of the shootings in February 2016.

Prosecutors cannot use some statements made by a Michigan man who is charged with killing six people in between picking up riders for Uber.

Judge Alexander Lipsey said Thursday that Kalamazoo police were too aggressive when Jason Dalton indicated that he didn't want to talk about a series of shootings in the Kalamazoo area in February 2016.

But the judge also says separate statements made to state police can be used as evidence at Dalton's trial, which is scheduled to begin in June.

Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat.
Michigan Legislature photos /

A Michigan lawmaker who quit office amid a sex scandal in 2015 is expected to face trial this spring on a perjury charge.

The Detroit News reports Ingham County Circuit Court Judge William Collette set the May 22 trial, despite objections from Todd Courser's attorney who says the case is being rushed.

Courser is accused of lying under oath during a legislative hearing about misconduct. Collette dismissed charges accusing Courser of misconduct in office.

succo via Pixabay | CC BY 2.0 /

A judge has ordered a man to stand trial in circuit court in the slaying of a 34-year-old woman on the Grand Rapids Community College campus in western Michigan.

Marcus Bivins' preliminary hearing was held Thursday. The 19-year-old Bivins is charged with first-degree murder.

Jeanne Huntoon of Muskegon was beaten and stabbed to death in April. Her body was found near bushes at the school.

A witness reported seeing a man dragging what appeared to be a body near a main building and parking ramp. Authorities have called the attack a random assault.