COMPETENT

Grant Township resident Jerry Michael McCauley, 58, has been found competent to stand trail for open murder in the Sept. 8, 2018 stabbing death of his wife, Gina McCauley.

TAWAS CITY – A Grant township man, who faces open murder charges for allegedly stabbing his wife to death, has been found competent to stand trial, according to documents obtained from Iosco County’s 23rd Circuit Court.

Jerry Michael McCauley, 58, was bound over to Iosco County’s 23rd Circuit Court on a charge of homicide-open murder-statutory short form, which carries a maximum penalty of life in prison, if he is convicted. The court’s denial of bond has been continued.

The action is more than a year after the alleged murder took place. In the meantime, McCauley was deemed not mentally competent to stand trial and has been lodged in a psychiatric hospital. 

McCauley, as previously reported, is accused of killing his wife, Gina Marie McCauley, 55, at their home on Pioneer Street in Grant Township on Sept. 8, 2018.

According to the Michigan State Police, troopers were dispatched to the McCauley home on that date for the reported homicide of a female within the residence.

Troopers said that Gina’s body was found in the kitchen by her son. Authorities say she had approximately 20 stab wounds to her chest and back. When detectives interviewed Jerry about the incident he was uncooperative but later allegedly admitted to stabbing his wife multiple times.

It is further claimed in court records that at no time did Jerry consider seeking medical treatment for Gina, even though he stopped the assault and observed her to still be breathing on at least two occasions during the alleged stabbing.

Jerry McCauley was arrested and lodged without bond following the alleged murder.

He appeared for his preliminary examination in Iosco County’s 81st District Court on Oct. 2, 2019, after which he was scheduled for a competency exam, and later found not competent to stand trial.

The most recent development in the case is that 81st District Court Judge Christopher Martin signed an “order for evaluation relative to criminal responsibility” relative to McCauley’s ability to be criminally responsible for his wife’s murder. The order was filed Nov. 4 of this year by Martin.

According to a “finding and order on competency” document filed with the court the same day by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Service’s Center for Forensic Psychiatry in Saline – whose psychiatrists evaluated McCauley – he was found competent to stand trial and the case “shall continue to the next stage of the criminal process.”

Further the document stated, “The defendant, in order to maintain competency to stand trial, shall be administrated appropriate medication pending and during trial.” 

An additional order on the document is that now that McCauley has been deemed competent to stand trial, he will remain lodged at the Center for Forensic Psychiatry per state law. Under that law, MCL 330.2030(4), “If the defendant is receiving medication and is not determined incompetent to stand trial, the court may, in order to maintain the competence of the defendant to stand trial, make such orders as it deems appropriate for the continued administration of such medication pending and during trial.”

As previously reported, troopers arrested Jerry on the date of the alleged murder, but he was released pending further investigation. At the time he was not believed to be a threat or danger to the general public.

Also troopers said Jerry was released because he allegedly refused to talk with investigators while in custody after his initial arrest. Following his release, detectives were conducting additional investigation and came into contact with Jerry, which is when he allegedly confessed to the crime and was subsequently arrested again on Sept. 10, lodged in the Iosco County Jail and denied bond.

According to troopers on the day of the alleged murder, Jerry said he and his wife were arguing in the morning and that he eventually reached his “breaking point,” grabbed a knife and stabbed her in the chest and back multiple times over a 35-minute period leading to her death.

According to documents, McCauley’s next court appearance is 10 a.m. in Iosco’s 23rd Circuit court on Jan. 6 for a pretrial hearing.