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Michigan senate mulling proposal to increase statute of limitations

Sen. Rick Jones (R-Grand Ledge) announced Thursday that the Michigan Senate Judiciary would review statute of limitations provisions in Michigan law with an eye towards increasing them.

The announcement came after Ingham County Prosecutor Stuart Dunnings III announced a suspect in the 2000 killing of 24-year-old Brandon D’Annunzio could not be charged because of the statute of limitations on manslaughter, reports the State News. The law says a suspect must be charged with 10 years for the crime of manslaughter or the charges can’t be brought in court.

The News reports Jones made the announcement of the review in a prepared statement:

“I can only imagine the pain of a parent who has had a son or daughter murdered and then finds out the perpetrator cannot be brought to justice,” Jones said in the statement. “I want to do a complete review of the statute of limitations and plan to increase some of the times. We keep lengthening the period that someone can be freed from a conviction because of modern science such as DNA testing. Certainly we should also lengthen the time that a crime can be charged.”

Jones is the former Eaton County Sheriff and is widely seen as the go-to lawmaker in reference to criminal matters and legislation.

The State News explained the alleged crime:

Brandon D’Annunzio died from blunt force trauma to the head in Lansing’s Sparrow Hospital 10 days after he was assaulted in East Lansing.

He was attending a bachelor party at Buffalo Wild Wings, then called BW-3, 220 M.A.C. Ave., the night he allegedly was assaulted. He left the bar alone and was approached by two men and a woman.

One of the men allegedly punched Brandon D’Annunzio in the face, causing him to fall backward and crack his head on the concrete curb.

In explaining his decision, Dunnings said that he could only have charged the suspect with manslaughter, which means the suspect did not set out to kill a person.

That claim was challenged by East Lansing police Capt. Bill Mitchell, who worked the death case. He told the State News that the case was one of pure, simple murder.

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