UPDATE — 6:45 p.m. October 19, 2015 (EDT)
“According to the report, the examiner determined that Mr. Cordell is not legally insane for the current alleged defenses he is charged with in court.”
Judge Mark E. Luoma read a statement from a psych evaluation, which stated that Cordell is competent to stand trial. Schoolcraft County Prosecutor Tim Noble then began the preliminary exam.
Noble read through written and typed statements from Cordell that were intercepted by the Michigan State Police back in May. In those statements, which Cordell was advised not to write according to his council, Cordell admitted to helping kill Jody Hutchinson, Carrie Nelson and Heather Aldrich at the home of Kenneth Brunke back in April.
Cordell described, in detail, that he and the late Marietta Carlson, choked the three victims to death inside of Brunke’s home. Brunke had Cordell at his home due to a string of recent break–ins that Cordell believed Aldrich was responsible for.
“Jodi was the first person to die,” said Noble, reading the statement from Cordell. “At that time I placed a bag over his head and duct taped it around his neck at which time he couldn’t breathe. I said no kidding dummy.”
After reading those statements, Noble called Brunke to the stand. Brunke, who accepted a plea deal last week, said he arrived home after work and was confronted by Cordell, who was wielding Brunke’s 40–caliber pistol.
When Brunke has led to the basement, he saw the two dead bodies.
“I was told that Heather Aldrich was in my bedroom, also dead,” said Brunke.
“Did you see her?” asked Noble.
“No, I did not,” stated Brunke.
“What was going through your mind at this point?” asked Noble.
“I was in fear for my life,” replied Brunke.
The bodies of the three deceased people were then loaded into a vehicle and eventually burned up a few miles down the road from Brunke’s house. Detective Sargent Jeremy Hauswirth also read highlighted portions of a letter Cordell sent to someone that was given to the police.
“I hope it makes you feel good to know that you’re dude choked the life out of that (expletive) read Hauswirth. “I’m going for life on these anyway. I killed every one of those (expletive) and would do it all over again. They made their bed just like I did. I put them (expletive) to rest.”
After 90 plus minutes of evidence and testimony, Judge Luoma bound the case over to circuit court. Cordell faces all 12 original felony counts he was charged with.
He stood mute on all of the charges during his circuit court arraignment. Cordell is due back in court Nov. 5 for a pre–trial hearing.
UPDATE — 12:15 p.m. October 19, 2015 (EDT)
Garry Cordell was bound over to Circuit Court on all twelve charges. He stood mute on those charges. More tonight on ABC 10 News at 5:30 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.
MANISTIQUE — An Upper Peninsula court has found a suspect in a triple homicide competent to stand trial.
Forty-seven-year old Garry Cordell was ruled competent at his hearing in Schoolcraft County District Court Monday morning. His preliminary examination, which is scheduled to last five days, is set to begin at 9:30 a.m. Cordell is charged with 12 counts, including multiple counts of open murder, conspiracy to commit open murder, first degree murder, and unlawful imprisonment.
Cordell was arrested in connection to the death of three people found in a burnt vehicle in Doyle Township in April. His co-defendant, 46-year-old Kenneth Brunke, pleaded guilty to the amended counts of obstruction of justice and lying to a police officer during a violent crime investigation on Friday. Another co-defendant in the case, 28-year-old Marietta Carlson, passed away from endocarditis back in June while in custody.
Tune in to ABC 10 tonight at 5:30 p.m. for the latest on this story.