Federal Prosecutors Argue Harold Ordway Linked To Homicides

Posted at 7:30 PM, Apr 12, 2013
and last updated 2013-04-12 19:33:40-04

courtGRAND RAPIDS, Mich.–Federal court documents, released on Friday, reveal prosecutor’s arguments against Harold Ordway, a Delton man in custody for a felony weapons charge.

Ordway, 43, has been in custody ever since September of 2011 when he crashed his pick-up truck in Allegan County. A bloody mattress and rifle were found inside, along with other evidence.

Since Ordway was a convicted felon from an assault charge in New Mexico stemming from 2007, he was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm.

A crime he pleaded guilty to.

Now, federal prosecutors argue that Ordway is also responsible for the deaths of his former roommates.

Paul Atchley, 53, and 38-year-old Michael  VanBurskirk from Battle Creek both were reported missing shortly after Ordway’s crash.

VanBurskirk’s remains turned up on a farm.
Police also matched the blood in Ordway’s truck to Paul Atchley.
According to federal documents, police also found a red baseball hat matching the one worn by Atchley and a leather wallet containing Atchley’s photo identification inside Ordway’s pick-up.
Stated in the government’s sentencing memorandum:
 The paramount question in this contested sentencing is whether, by a preponderance, the evidence shows that Defendant used the firearm he possessed to commit another state or federal felony offense that resulted in  person’s death. The government contends that the answer is yes because the evidence shows that Defendant used a firearm to shoot another person, causing him to die. 
The defense has stated that Ordway is only charged with the weapons offense and that he has been cooperative and polite during the entire case and is remorseful for violating the firearms law.
The Government is effectively asking the Court to sentence Mr. Ordway to 30-37 months for the charged offense and the additional seven to seven and a half years for uncharged, unproven conduct, according to federal documents.
Ordway will be sentenced for the firearms charge on April 18th.