Michigan man to plead insanity in gruesome case of murder and cannibalism




 

DETROIT - A Michigan man accused of killing s 25-year-old man and eating part of his body will seek an insanity defense, his lawyer said Wednesday.

Mark David Latunski, 50, appeared at court Wednesday via video for a probable cause hearing in the gruesome murder case.

He is charged with open murder and mutilation of a body in the death of Kevin Bacon, who was reported missing on Christmas Day.

Authorities said Bacon went to meet Latunski after connecting with him on Grindr, a dating app.

Bacon was found murdered and mutilated in Latunski's home on Dec. 28 and his naked body was hanging from the rafters by his ankles. Latunski told police he'd slit his throat with a knife. Latunski also allegedly admitted to eating part of Bacon's body.

Latunski's attorney, public defender Doug Corwin, is seeking an insanity defense for his client.

"He believes he's named someone else, he believes he's from a royal family out of Wales, from the Thomas clan, and just the nature of the crime itself ... what he did and how he did it has come out, just by that nature as an attorney, I have to send him for an evaluation," Corwin said.

Judge Ward L. Clarkson ordered a competency test.

Latunski will be sent to the Center for Forensic Psychiatry to determine if he is competent to stand trial. If he is found competent, they will go a step further to conduct a criminal responsibility test, which will test if he was competent at the time of the crime.

"We are alleging that maybe at the time of the offense, he was criminally insane," Corwin stated after the hearing.

Latunski will likely be sent for this evaluation after 60 to 90 days.

"The forensics center is pretty backed up right now so there's a delay in getting people down there to get evaluated," Corwin explained.

Latunski will be held at the Shiawassee County Jail until his evaluation.

Once his evaluation is scheduled, the county jail will transport Latunski, who will be tested and interviewed. The forensics center will also look into his background and prior hospitalizations.

Corwin said that it can take 30 days to get the report, but sometimes it can take longer if multiple hospitals have to be consulted.

If Latunski is found not competent, he will be hospitalized in a lockdown facility and be treated until he is deemed competent, according to Corwin.

"He's been very cooperative with our department, very polite," Corwin said when asked about Latunski's demeanor. He also said that Latunski really seems to believe the grandiose stories he's been telling his attorney.

At his arraignment hearing on Dec. 30, Latunski said that his name is Edgar Thomas Hill and Mark Latusnki is his nephew.

According to public records, Latunski has been committed to hospitals four times for his mental health.

Follow Bisma Parvez on Twitter @bismapar

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Kevin Bacon murder: Insanity defense planned for suspect Mark Latunski

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