Prosecutor: Jailed ‘person of interest’ believed to be responsible for killing both Muskegon Heights women

Posted at 1:09 PM, Oct 15, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-15 13:12:54-04

MUSKEGON HEIGHTS, Mich. — Prosecutors in Muskegon County have confirmed to FOX 17 they now believe Leon Means, 61, who was arrested overnight Wednesday as a person of interest, is responsible for killing two Muskegon Heights women in their home.

Police arrested Means early Wednesday morning at which point they also recovered the 2006 Chevrolet Malibu that had gone missing from Lawson’s home following her death, according to prosecutors.

Initially, investigators said they did not have enough evidence to confidently conclude the two apparent homicides were connected. Late Tuesday however, prosecutors sent out an alert saying they were looking for just one person of interest in both cases.

Anna “Red” Lawson, 63, was found in her home on E. Sherman Boulevard, and Judy Bushman, 62, was found dead in her home in the 2600 block of Wood Street.

Police say Lawson was found dead in her home around 1 a.m. Tuesday and it appeared she suffered stab wounds.

At roughly 7 a.m., police were called to to Bushman’s home just blocks away after they said family couldn’t reach her.   She was also found deceased, but police are not yet confirming the nature of her death.  They have ruled out possible death by gunshot.

While the nature of Means’ relationship with either of the two victims remains unclear at this point, prosecutors confirmed to FOX 17 they believed Means had formally lived with Bushman in her Wood St. home.

According to prosecutors, it’s unclear how Means knew Lawson, but people who spoke with FOX 17 said Means was dating Bushman, and the Lawson family has known Means for years.

Specific details regarding Means’ arrest or about his involvement in the homicides have not been made clear at this point but Means remains the only suspect in both homicide investigations.

Charges against Means were still pending as of mid-day Wednesday but prosecutors say they expect him to be arraigned by late afternoon.

Means has an extensive rap sheet with records from the Michigan Department of Corrections showing he spent several years behind bars starting in 1989 for being a prison escapee. He was also convicted for conspiracy to bring contraband to prison, along with carrying a concealed weapon and assault with a dangerous weapon.

Means was release from prison in July of 2012.