Man accused of murder to undergo psychological evaluation

MANISTIQUE — The two men accused of murdering three people earlier this year were back in court this morning for another motions hearing.

46-year-old Kenneth Brunke will undergo a psychological exam within the next 60 days. Brunke’s attorney, Michael Winnick, filed the motion on behalf of his client for the mental evaluation.

Winnick said that Brunke has been battling depression for the last 15 years. The psychological evaluation would determine if Brunke is mentally able to stand trial for the alleged crimes.

“The material I received from the prosecution’s office speaks to my client putting a weapon, a firearm to his own head,” said Michael Winnick, Brunke’s defense attorney. “The material I received from the prosecution discloses that during the course of interviews with law enforcement, my client disclosed to law enforcement that he had a certain degree of emotional or psychological difficulty.”

“I’m reading a little bit between the lines with the court’s concerns regarding the time frames that may come into play,” said prosecuting attorney Timothy Noble. “We have to get Mr. Brunke to the Caro Center most likely, the evaluation, then there’s all that time that it takes after that to be prepared. We’re now in August and I certainly do understand why the court would want this moving along as quickly as possible.”

Judge Mark E. Luoma scheduled the preliminary exam for Brunke and the other defendant, 47-year-old Garry Cordell, for the week of October 19th. Both men are accused of killing 42–year–old Jody Hutchinson of Gould City, 31–year–old Carrie Nelson and 25–year–old Heather Aldrich of Newberry.

Police found bodies of the three deceased people in a burnt vehicle in Doyle Township back in April.