Stupak threat case remains on hold pending tests

BAY CITY (AP) -- The criminal case against a 74-year-old West Branch man charged with threatening a former Michigan congressman has stalled while attorneys dispute who should evaluate the defendant's mental competence.

The Bay City Times says court records indicate that lawyers for Russell Hesch plan to mount a defense hinging on his mental status. Robert J. Dunn and David R. Cripps want a Bloomfield-based forensic psychiatrist to evaluate their client.

U.S. Attorney Barbara Tanase on Feb. 7 requested Dr. Craig Lemmen, director of the Center for Forensic Psychiatry in Ypsilanti.

Hesch is accused of writing a letter that threatened to paint the Mackinac Bridge with Bart Stupak's blood because he voted for a health care law last year.

Stupak represented northern Michigan in Congress but did not seek re-election in 2010.

Published: Fri, Feb 18, 2011

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