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Accused killer Mark Latunski found not competent to stand trial

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Posted at 12:30 PM, Feb 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-25 12:43:30-05

LANSING, Mich. — A competency evaluation has been completed on Mark Latunski, the man accused of killing Kevin Bacon around Christmas 2019, by health officials.

After a 30-day exam at a state psychiatric hospital in Ypsilanti, hospital officials have deemed Latunski unfit to stand trial.

“It was the opinion of the forensic center in Ypsilanti that he’s incompetent at this time,” said Public Defender Doug Corwin.

According to a release, the State of Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, and the Center for Forensic Psychiatry, "has opined that Latunski is not presently competent to stand trial."

A hearing will be held before the Honorable Ward L. Clarkson in regards to Mr. Latunski’s competency on Thursday, February 27 at 8:30 a.m.

Corwin added that he's confident that Clarkson will find him incompetent. “There’s no professional that says he’s not,” said Corwin.

Corwin added that he doesn’t know if Latunski will be at the hearing, but he may appear via video conference. Assuming the judge rules Latunksi incompetent, Corwin said it’s unclear when Latunksi could be transported to the psychiatric facility, which Corwin calls a “lockup facility.”

Latunski is charged with killing and mutilating 25-year-old Kevin Bacon from Swartz Creek in late December.

"Everything stops when we file a motion for a forensic evaluation," said Shiawassee County public defender Douglas Corwin. "Mr. Latunski had that evaluation done and now the forensic center is pulling in prior history, current history, and looking at everything to determine mental status."

Corwin requested the evaluation because of his own concerns about his client's mental state and he says it's not getting any better.

"There has not been a change at this time, in fact, I think he's getting worse. His ability to distinguish what is real and what is not," said Corwin drifting off and not finishing his sentence.

He says that presents another challenge for Latunski's defense.

"I think he knows the charges, but because of what's going on with his thinking, he's not able to help us defend him. The other day I talked to him, I had three questions for him that took 45 minutes to kind of get an answer out of him," said Corwin.

The gruesome nature of the crime has led to hate mail for Corwin.

"I haven't had anybody really threaten my life, but just a lot of bad talk out there. Our department, this is our job, it's what we do. Everybody deserves a good confident legal defense," said Corwin.

Corwin is a pastor in Corunna when he's not in the public defender's office. He says he often relies on his faith to guide him through cases.

"I don't look at the ethics behind it or anything that he did. I'm there to work in his best interest at this point because I don't believe him to be competent," said Corwin.

There will be a competency hearing after the forensic report is completed.

If Latunski is found incompetent he'll be hospitalized in a lock-down facility and have periodic reviews on his mental state.

If he shows no improvement after 15 months, he'll be reassessed and the forensic center will decide on the best treatment going forward.

Latunski was found incompetent back in 2013 when he was charged with parental kidnapping. That case was ultimately dismissed.

His foreclosed home will go up for auction on February 26th. There will be no public viewing of the house before the auction.