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Alleged Grindr killer pursues insanity defense

Criminal proceedings paused pending psychiatric exam

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WEDNESDAY, Jan. 8 — Lawyers of an alleged murderer contend their client is legally insane and therefore cannot be held criminally liable for the recent killing of a Swartz Creek man and the mutilation of his corpse.

After a brief hearing this morning in 66th District Court, Mark David Latunski, 50, of Morrice, is now set to undergo a psychiatric examination to determine whether he’s mentally fit to stand trial on an open murder charge in the recent death of Kevin Bacon, a 25-year-old member of the LGBTQ community and college student.

A bearded Latunski appeared via video feed from inside the jail, staying silent as his lawyers spoke on his behalf.

Doug Corwin, Shiawassee County’s public defender and one of Latunski’s court-appointed attorneys, filed yesterday a notice of an upcoming insanity defense and a reqest for the exam, according to court records. And without objection from the prosecuting attorney, Latunski will soon be tested to gauge his mental competency.

Clarkson, in the meantime, has paused the criminal proceedings until the results of that examination arrive.

“I cannot really get into much of anything, but he indicates his true name is Edgar Thomas Hill,” Corwin said previously. “We’ll be filing for a forensic examination. We will be filing an insanity defense on his behalf.”

Latunski was arraigned on the open murder charge — which carries the possibility of life in prison upon conviction — last week after authorities said they discovered Bacon’s mutilated body hanging upside down in the basement of Latunski’s hillside home on a rural stretch of Tyrrell Road outside the village of Morrice.

According to the Michigan State Police, Bacon had been stabbed, his throat had been slit and his testicles removed. Latunski also reportedly told investigators that he had eaten Bacon’s testicles before they arrived. County Prosecuting Attorney Deanna Finnegan has labeled the case as the “most horrific” homicide in decades.

Bacon had reportedly met Latunski on the popular gay hookup site Grindr on Christmas Eve. According to a Flint Journal interview with a friend, Bacon said he was going to be out for a while but was still having fun. His family reported him missing when he couldn’t be found on Christmas morning. And police started searching.

MSP Spokesman Dave Keiser said Bacon’s car was found by local police later that day, parked at a Family Dollar in Clayton Township. His phone, wallet and a few articles of clothing were found inside. That investigation later led authorities to Latunski’s home on Dec. 28, where he was arrested and Bacon’s body was discovered inside.

At Latunski’s initial arraignment, he claimed his real name was “Edgar Thomas Hill” and insisted that Mark Latunski was actually his nephew, attorneys said. Corwin previously said his team hasn’t found evidence to explain or substantiate the claim, instead pointing to plans to present an insanity defense as the case proceeds.

Police reports on Latunski also paint a history of mental illness, including schizophrenia and severe depression.

Visit lansingcitypulse.com for previous and continued coverage as the criminal case proceeds.

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