Free Kosgar Lado; fire Stuart Dunnings III

Originally posted January 30, 2014; last updated March 5, 2014




Ingham County Prosecutor Stuart Dunnings III is an incompetent fool. We must get him out of office ASAP, before he does any more damage. To understand why, read Kevin Grasha's report in today's Lansing State Journal and my July 28 essay.


Last June, Kosgar Lado was charged with a murder he did not commit. During the police interrogation in which he confessed to the murder, he displayed signs of mental illness and contradicted his confession saying "I didn't shoot nobody." Still, he spent a month in isolation in Ingham County jail before police concluded that he didn't do it.


And then Prosecutor Dunnings, in his great wisdom, charged him with making false statements to police. Those charges are still being pursued, although Lado has been committed to a psychiatric hospital and diagnosed with schizophrenia. The LSJ article says that Dunnings recently received reports that Lado is not competent to stand trial, but wonders if he was mentally ill at the time of the false confession. I wonder if Dunnings has enough brains to pour piss out of a boot, to use an old family expression.


The crime here is the persecution of Kosgar Lado, and the perpetrator is the legal system - the police, the prosecutor and the court. A hearing before 54A District Court Judge Frank DeLuca is scheduled for 1:30 today in Lansing City Hall. We can only hope that Judge DeLuca puts an end to this nonsense.


Please do read Kevin Grasha's excellent report.


January 31: Sadly, Judge DeLuca did not dismiss the charges. The state’s Center for Forensic Psychiatry has recommended that Lado undergo inpatient treatment for a year, but his attorney, Mike Maddaloni, hopes an agreement can be reached that allows Lado to receive mental health treatment locally. Dunnings still says he has received no information that shows Lado was schizophrenic at the time of the interrogation. See Kevin Grasha's latest report.


An online petition drive has been initiated by Dawn Kettinger of Lansing to "Drop bogus charge against mentally ill refugee Kosgar Lado". Dawn Kettinger is communications director for the Michigan Nurses Association.


On the online petiition site, the following "response" from Stuart Dunnings III appears:

I am in receipt of your message, regarding the charges against Mr. Kosgar Lado.


On January 14, we received a report from the Forensic Center regarding Mr. Lado’s current competency to stand trial. At that time, our office decided to enter into an agreement with Mr. Lado and his defense attorney, under which he will undergo a mental health evaluation and receive psychiatric treatment. Mr. Lado has been determined to be incompetent to stand trial. I have not received any evaluations as to Mr. Lado's mental status at the time of the alleged offense.


We frequently receive criminal complaints in which mental illness of the accused at the time of commission of the alleged offense is an issue. Once the necessary evaluations have been received I will review them in consultation with the assigned Assistant Prosecutors and, if necessary, mental health providers. As always once all of the necessary evaluations have been received a decision regarding further proceedings will be made.

Mr. Dunnings says that he has "not received any evaluations as to Mr. Lado's mental status at the time of the alleged offense." If the report received January 14 says he needs psychiatric treatment, chances are he was sick in June when he confessed - unless he was pushed over the edge by being locked up for a month for something he did not do. And the confession itself is a strong indication that something was wrong with him. Anyone who still thinks Lado should be prosecuted for making false statements to the police is hopelessly obtuse.


February 4: See editorial in LSJ today.


February 5: Yesterday on WKAR's Current State, Mark Bashore interviewed Kevin Grasha; David Moran, director of the Michigan Innocence Clinic at the University of Michigan Law School; and Stuart Dunnings III. Also, this is from an email I sent to an Ingham County commissioner on Feb. 1:

I've been thinking that this Kosgar Lado case should be looked into by the Ingham County Board of Commissioners. Dunnings is, after all, the prosecuting attorney for Ingham County, and he is really making an ass of himself. It is obvious to anyone who reads the details of this case that Lado did not confess in order to interfere with the investigation. He has mental problems, and that most likely is what caused him to confess in the first place. He is not a criminal and should not be ensnared in the legal system. Dunnings is a fool if he cannot see this, and he is lazy if he expects the evidence of mental illness to be brought to him. He should go after it himself! He's a prosecutor, not a judge.


I really feel bad for this Lado kid. Can you imagine being locked up in isolation for a month for something you did not do? And he obviously wasn't in any shape to endure this in the first place. And then being threatened with being stuck in an inpatient psychiatric facility in Kalamazoo for a year?


I hope you can do something.

February 8: A column in the LSJ by managing editor Stephanie Angel ends with this:

The LSJ will continue reporting on the plight of Kosgar Lado. This young man — and others like him — deserve to have their stories told.

February 19: A story in the LSJ says James Shonkwiler, former head of the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan, says continuing to pursue the felony charge against Kosgar Lado is an inappropriate use of the law. Ingham County Prosecutor Stuart Dunnings III continues to make an fool of himself by saying he is still seeking information that shows Lado was mentally ill at the time of the interrogation. And a website called has been set up to help pay for legal expenses and mental health treatment for Lado.


February 21: The LSJ reports that Judge Frank J. DeLuca has ordered Kosgar Lado to be held at a psychiatric hospital in Kalamazoo for up to 15 months.


February 25: James Shonkwiler and Dr. Eric Neal, a psychiatrist at the state’s Center for Forensic Psychiatry are interviewed on WKAR's Current State program.


February 26. The LSJ reports that East Lansing attorney Andrew Abood now is serving as co-counsel with Mike Maddaloni, who has handled Lado’s case since he was charged.


March 4: The LSJ reports that Andrew Abood is seeking an independent psychiatric evaluation for Kosgar Lado.


March 5: From "Today, Dunnings announced the charges, indeed, would be dropped after he acquired reports Tuesday night from a private mental health facility where Lado was admitted last October. Dunnings says he's puzzled why the reports weren't released to him sooner, but until last night, he had no confirmation of Lado's psychiatric status."


March 6: LSJ story on the dismissal of charges against Kosgar Lado. An editorial the same day says "Dunnings gets credit for finally doing the right thing. Yet even in making the announcement, he took shots at the media for publicizing Lado's plight and complained that he had just received documents pertaining to Lado's mental health - documents that were discussed in court last month."