Prosecutor: Berrien Co. shooter had kept 17-year-old girl prisoner for sex

Posted at 12:53 PM, Jul 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-13 16:41:17-04

ST. JOSEPH, Mich. — Larry Gordon, who was facing multiple charges in court before killing two bailiffs in an escape attempt Monday, had kept a 17-year-old girl prisoner for sex, the county prosecutor said.

Gordon, 44, wrestled a gun away from a deputy Monday while being transferred from a holding cell to court.  He shot and killed two bailiffs and wounded the deputy and a woman before being shot and killed by another responding officer.

Michael Sepic, Berrien County Prosecutor says in a press release that Gordon was wanted on a domestic violence warrant from January, when officers tried to arrest him in April.  When they came looking for Gordon at his home on Tannery Road in Coloma Township, Gordon barricaded himself in a shed on the property. He was able to escape police, but was caught several streets away with the help of a K-9 unit.

Police found that Gordon had been holding a 17-year-old girl in the shed for approximately two weeks, against her will.  He was allegedly providing her with methamphetamine in exchange for sex.  He had also allegedly assaulted her with weapons and by strangling her.  Police say he also had video recorded the sexual activity.

When Gordon made his escape attempt, the prosecutor says he faced felony charges of:

  • Criminal Sexual Conduct (CSC), 1st degree - 5 counts
  • Kidnapping
  • Producing Child Sexually Abusive Material - 3 counts
  • Possession with Intent to Deliver Meth
  • CSC, 3rd degree
  • Unlawful Imprisonment
  • Assault by Strangulation - 2 counts
  • Assault with a Dangerous Weapon
  • Resisting and Obstructing an Officer - 2 counts

And other misdemeanors. The prosecutor says Gordon was previously convicted of:

  • Possessing a Pipe Bomb - 1992 (federal conviction)
  • Fleeing and Eluding, 3rd degree - 1998 (in Barry County)
  • Possessing a Pipe Bomb - 1998 (federal conviction)
  • Felony Firearms - 2002 (federal conviction)
  • Larceny - 2013 (Berrien County)

If Gordon had been convicted of the charges, he would have faced a minimum of 18 to 62 years in prison.

Bailiffs Ron Kienzle and Joe Zangaro were killed Monday afternoon by Gordon in the courthouse.