EVERETT TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) - A Newaygo County man who nearly decapitated a friend in 1997 is back in front of police after allegedly beheading his cat and stabbing himself.
The Newaygo County Sheriff's Department told 24 Hour News 8 that Warren Martin Culver called 911 around 7:15 a.m. March 19. According to Sheriff Mike Mercer, deputies responded to the call as an attempted suicide. Deputies responded to Culver's home in the 4200 block of S. Centerline Road in Everett Township. They found Culver had stabbed himself twice in the torso and also allegedly beheaded his cat.
Mercer said Culver's injuries were fairly serious. He remained hospitalized at Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids more than a week later.
Mercer told 24 Hour News 8 that Culver told deputies he had been hearing voices. Lt. Chad Palmiter said Culver was using biblical terms and talking about the devil when deputies arrived at his house. Mercer went into further detail, saying that Culver said he spoke with God and had been directed to do these things.
Mercer acknowledged the story seemed familiar to what Culver told authorities happened in 1997.
Culver is currently in the hospital. Mercer said he would not be released when discharged, but rather will go to a secure state psychiatric facility. Mercer and Palmiter said the goal of the Sheriff's Department and Newaygo County Prosecutor's Office is to ensure that Culver will never get out again.
Culver was released from a psychiatric facility in 2009 after spending 12 years there for the 1997 death of Marty Bulson. At the time of the killing, Culver said he thought he was Jesus and Bulson was the anti-Christ. Bulson, a mother of three who had come to Culver's home to bring him a birthday present, had walked up behind him as he worked in his yard. Culver, seeing her shadow behind him, swung a shovel at her neck and nearly decapitated her.
"He's more than capable of committing the same heinous crime over and over whether it's to a human being or to an animal and they still let him loose," said Bulson's sister, Dawn Mourer.
Mourer said she is still fighting for justice for her sister and her sister's three children.
"She was a wonderful mom, she was a wonderful sister, and she would have been a wonderful grandma if she had got the chance," said Mourer.
Mourer says her stomach dropped as soon as she heard Culver was back in the spotlight.
She said she's still angry because she doesn't believe Culver wasn't punished for killing her sister. She said she worries what will happen now.
"I started having nightmares about my sister a couple days ago and the nightmares came true," said Mourer. When she was pressed as to what came true, she said, "that Martin Culver came off his medication again and he had done something wrong, and by God he did."
A judge found Culver not guilty by reason of insanity in Bulson's death. When he was released, court documents showed a doctor said Culver had responded well to therapy, and described Culver as stable as long as he was on his medication.
No one was assigned to monitor his medication intake after he had been released from the facility for one year.
Mercer said he wondered why that is the case.
"I have the same question, you know, I don't know," said Mercer. "These are tough issues but from a public safety standpoint, they're important issues for discussion and I really think we need to re-evaluate what we're doing in these circumstances. We've got to do a better job of helping [people with mental health issues] and protecting our citizens."
Mercer acknowledged it will take funding in order to fix a system he sees as broken.
"Of all these things we're looking at to help make our communities safer, this needs to be at the top of the list, in my opinion," he said.
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