HASTINGS, Mich. (WOOD) - A man who was arrested in the fall 2011 after a police officer noticed a bloody mattress in the back of his pickup truck has been charged with murder.
Harold Ordway was charged Tuesday with open murder, felony firearm and being a second-offense habitual offender. Authorities allege he shot and killed 53-year-old Paul Atchley in September 2011.
According the Barry County Prosecutor's Office, new developments in the case prompted the charges, but the prosecutor would not comment on what those details were.
Ordway was involved in a traffic crash on Sept. 2, 2011 on M-89 near Plainwell. When officers arrived at the scene, they found a gun, ammunition and a bloody mattress in his pickup truck. The mattress had what authorities call "copious" amounts of "fresh-flowing" blood on it, court documents show. The gun also had blood splatter on it, and there was blood on Ordway's clothes.
Ordway was arrested at the scene for possessing a weapon as a felon, but would not tell investigators where the blood on the mattress came from.
Not long after his arrest, authorities realized Paul Atchley was missing. He had been staying with Ordway at Ordway's parents house off Manning Lake Rd. in Barry County. Police said he had been sleeping there in the back of the pick-up truck.
Investigators then discovered that another man connected to Ordway, 33-year-old Michael VanBuskirk, was missing. The father of three had been living at Ordway's home on Woodward Avenue in Battle Creek to help with a remodeling project, police said. VanBuskirk's remains were found in October 2011 in Kalamazoo County and identified in January 2012.
Federal authorities were prepared to argue at his sentencing that he had killed both Atchley and VanBuskirk -- which they said he had admitted to while in jail.
But last month, a federal judge delayed the sentencing to June 24. The delay was to allow the local prosecutors to decide if they would charge Ordway with any crimes. Federal attorneys are scheduled to report back to the judge by June 3.
The court documents say all of the blood found on the mattress came from one person -- neither Ordway or VanBuskirk. The documents go on to say that if one person lost that much blood in one incident, he would die within an hour without medical attention.
Documents also state the blood appeared to start at the head of the mattress, and the spatter was consistent with someone shooting a human from the back window of the pickup truck's cab. The trail of blood then made it look like someone had dragged the blood source out of the truck while it was still bloody.
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