Leon Means charged with 4 Muskegon Heights homicides

Posted at 4:57 PM, Oct 15, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-15 19:09:04-04

MUSKEGON, Mich. -- The Muskegon County Prosecutor's Office announced Wednesday that 61-year-old Leon Means was arraigned on four murder charges.

Two of those charges are for the women who were found dead in their Muskegon Heights homes Tuesday morning and the other charges stem from a 1989 case.

During Means' arraignment the judge denied him bond on all four counts due to Means being a habitual offender. Several of the victims' family members were in court Wednesday for the arraignment.

Means was arrested early Wednesday in connection with the deaths of Anna Lawson, 63, and 62-year-old Judy Bushman.  Police say they recovered a 2006 Chevrolet Malibu that had gone missing from Lawson's home.

Lawson was found dead in her home on E. Sherman Boulevard at about 1 a.m. Tuesday, and Bushman was found dead just blocks away in her home in the 2600 block of Wood Street.

During a Wednesday press conference, officials announced the two additional murder charges for the deaths of Means' estranged wife and mother-in-law in 1989.  Those killings also happened in Muskegon Heights and during a period of time when Means had escaped from prison. Means was never convicted on the charges, instead returning to prison for being an escapee.

Means was released from prison in July 2012.

During Wednesday's press conference Muskegon Co. prosecutor D.J. Hilson thanked the members of the task force who worked on the case along with member of the community for providing tips and information leading them to Means.

"This community continues to step up and do the right thing," Hilson said.

Hilson wouldn't comment on what evidence they had found but said he felt 'confident' re filing the old murder charges saying it wasn't clear why they had never been re-filed years earlier.

“It is an honor and a privilege to bring to justice these four victims, it is a privilege to at least be able to start the process for these victim’s families, both now and from the past," he said.

"Obviously we’ll continue to push forward in this case and looking forward to bringing justice.”

FOX 17's Josh Sidorowicz contributed reporting to this story