Strike 3 for Ingham County Prosecutor Stuart Dunnings III?
March 1, 2014
Too bad there's no three strikes law for prosecutors. Dunnings may have whiffed another one.
Strike 1: In October 2007, Claude McCullum was freed after spending a year and a half in Ingham County jail for a crime he didn't commit. The real killer was Matthew Macon, who in 2008 was convicted for the murders of two Lansing women. He is believed to have killed four others. McCullum's conviction was based on a confession obtained in a two hour interview with Lansing Community College and Lansing police detectives and a single strand of fiber that experts said "might" have come from the victim's sweater. (source)
Even after he was released, Ingham County Prosecutor Stuart Dunnings III continued to persecute McCullum. He was required to wear a tether, and
McCollum sued and settled for $2 million. In the complaint, his lawyers said this about Dunnings:
Strike 2: In July 2013, after he had spent a month in Ingham County jail, charges against Kosgar Lado for the June 26 shooting death of Anthony Kye of Lansing were dismissed. On the basis of his confession in a 3-hour police interview, Lado was charged with open murder, assault with intent to commit murder, felony firearm possession and possession of a weapon with unlawful intent. Although Lado confessed during the interrogation, he also denied shooting anybody. His request for a lawyer was ignored.
Lado had absolutely nothing to do with the killing. Four other men have now been charged. Lado is not off the hook, however. He's been charged with providing false statements to police, a felony punishable by up to four years in prison and $5,000 in fines. (mlive.com, 7/26/2013) And he was released only after posting a $10,000 personal recognizance bond.
Lado has since been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, which - to a rational human being - might explain his confusion in the police interrogation. However, Prosecutor Dunnings won't drop the charges, saying "I have not received any evaluations as to Mr. Lado's mental status at the time of the alleged offense," and despite an opinion from James Shonkwiler, former executive director of the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan, that "the charge against Lado represents an inappropriate and unfortunate use of the statute being applied."
On Feb. 20, Judge Frank J. DeLuca sent Kosgar to a state psychiatric hospital for up to 15 months to try to make him competent for trial.
Strike 3: A February 28 story in the City Pulse by Todd Heywood says the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights is investigating a Title IX complaint from an MSU student stemming from an alleged sexual assault in 2010. The student said she voluntarily accompanied two MSU athletes to the room of one of them, but then was prevented from leaving and was sexually assaulted by both men despite her protests. MSU police brought the case to Ingham County Prosecutor's Office, but Dunnings declined to prosecute, saying an investigation found that no crime had been committed.
In his story, Heywood says that "media reports until now have not included information about the nature of the allegations that led to the investigation."
A February 28 story in the Lansing State Journal by Matthew Miller says the LSJ "reviewed the case file and interview transcripts in 2010, and elected not to write about the accusation because no charges had been filed."