This week was the sentencing hearing for the man who made violent threats toward Cleveland Elementary School in Port Huron, Michigan. The Law Office Of John Freeman represented the man, who plead guilty to a number of charges, including threatening to commit violence with firearm, explosive, or other dangerous weapon against students or employees on school property, as well as resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer.
At the sentencing hearing, criminal defense attorney John Freeman pointed out that the man has significant mental health issues and was experiencing them at the time he made the threats. As reported by The Times Herald, Freeman brought this up not to excuse the man’s behavior, but to ask that the man receive mental health treatment while incarcerated.
While the judge emphasized the seriousness of the man’s threats, he also acknowledged the man’s struggles with mental illness. He ordered the Michigan Department of Corrections to provide the man with mental health treatment while behind bars, and to be monitored to ensure he is getting continued treatment once he is on parole.
Ultimately, the man was sentenced to a minimum of 3 years in prison and a maximum of 20 for the main charges, as well as an additional 2 years for related firearms charges.
This case highlights the need for normalizing mental health treatment and for improving access to mental health treatment statewide.