A Kalkaska County couple was back in court Monday as the murder case of Michael Brandt moves forward.
A friend found Michael Brandt dead in his home at the end of January.
The Kalkaska County Sheriff’s Office investigation at the scene in Springfield Township led them to Brian and Jessica Degroot, Brandt’s daughter and son-in-law.
Deputies arrested the couple and they’re charged with his murder.
Brian is also charged with torture.
Monday afternoon the couple was back in court as the prosecution laid out their side of the story.
9&10’s Caroline Powers and photojournalist Jeremy Erickson were inside the courtroom and continue our coverage.
“Large amount of blood in the entry way and on the freezer.”
Vincent Roys stumbled on a horrific scene when he showed up to check on his friend, Michael Brandt.
“Discovered there was a piece of carpet rolled up in the living and I picked a piece of carpet up and I noticed there was feet and a body in there and I noticed it was Mike, and I walked outside and called 911,” Roys says.
Forensic pathologist Dr. Stephen Cohle says Brandt was stabbed seven times. One almost severed Brandt’s heart.
“I am confident I would conclude that this is a homicide,” Dr. Cohle says. “Just because of the distribution of injuries, the types of the injuries.”
Detective Scott Griffith interviewed Brian Degroot, Brandt’s son-in-law.
“He had told me that Michael Brandt had been verbally threatening him and giving insults to him and that he had had enough mentally and physically and he reacted upon it,” says Dt/Sgt. Griffith. “He admitted he slashed the victim, Michael Brandt, on the back, that he stabbed him in the chest, and that he slashed him across the neck and the slash across the neck is what did it.”
Officers also talked about the conversations they had with the victim’s daughter, Jessica.
“She stated she saw her father, Michael Brandt, with stab wounds and she heard Brian Degroot shoot him with a crossbow,” says Sgt. Dave Wagner, Kalkaska County Sheriff’s Office. “Jessica said that Brian threw the knife and the broad head in the woods at the house and the other weapons were burned in the burn barrel at the house.”
The defense argued that Brian’s torture charge be dropped.
“There’s been no discussion of screams of pain or terror, or anybody coming over or length of time that this took,” says Kyle Trevas, defense attorney. “There has not been evidence offered that torture occurred.”
But the judge ruled in favor of the prosecution.
Both Brian and Jessica Degroot were bound over to circuit court.