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Muskegon Co. deputies will face trial in inmate death case

Posted at 12:57 PM, Oct 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-15 12:57:20-04

MUSKEGON, Mich. — A judge has ruled there is enough evidence to send four Muskegon County deputies to trial related to the death of Paul Bulthouse, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced Friday.

Bulthouse, 39, was arrested by the Norton Shores Police Department on March 22, 2019, and brought to the Muskegon County Jail on a probation detainer.

He was classified as suicidal, which required he be monitored by officers every 15 minutes.

Bulthouse’s cell was always close to the county jail booking center and he was always visible on video monitors, according to Nessel’s office.

Thirteen days later, on April 4, Bulthouse died in custody after suffering what authorities described as many visible seizures in a five-and-a-half hour period.

After a preliminary exam that lasted three days, Muskegon County 60th District Court Judge Geoffrey Nolan ruled late Thursday night that there is enough evidence to bind over the four deputies to Muskegon County Circuit Court for further proceedings.

Each of the deputies faces one count of involuntary manslaughter – failure to perform a legal duty.

That’s a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

The deputies involved were Sgt. David Vanderlaan, Deputy Jeffrey Patterson, Deputy Crystal Greve and Deputy Jamal Lane.

“The oath to protect and serve extends to those who are in police custody,” Nessel said. “We will continue our pursuit of justice for Mr. Bulthouse and his loved ones as this case moves to trial.”

Judge Nolan did not send Wellpath Registered Nurse Aubrey Schotts’ case over for trial.

Nessel’s office is reviewing options regarding dismissing charges against Schotts.

READ MORE: Jail staffers, nurse charged in inmate’s death faces judge for preliminary hearing

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