News Article Details

Son accused in dentist's slaying was undergoing mental health treatment before father's death

Ann Arbor News - 1/29/2019

Jan. 29--PITTSFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. -- An Ann Arbor man accused of killing his father was being treated by county mental health professionals prior to the homicide, his attorney says.

The revelation came as Michael B. Krause, 30, of Ann Arbor, was arraigned on one count of open murder Tuesday, Jan. 29 in the suspected beating death of 66-year-old Michael E. Krause during the weekend.

The younger Krause was arrested with blood on his hands shortly after 8 p.m. Saturday at the family's home in the 700 block of Watershed Drive in Ann Arbor after a fight broke out between the father and son, according to police.

The son appeared for arraignment via video feed Tuesday in 14A-1 District Court, clad in a white jail uniform, which jail officials confirmed is worn by inmates undergoing medical treatment, suicide monitoring or mental health care.

He was being "supervised" by Washtenaw County Community Mental Health prior to the elder Krause's death on Saturday, Jan. 26, his attorney Joe Simon told Magistrate Elisha Fink on Tuesday.

Though police could not confirm any specific diagnosis, Ann Arbor police Lt. Aimee Metzer said the victim's wife told 911 dispatchers the day of her husband's death that her son suffers from mental illness.

In court, Simon asked that county mental health personnel continue to have access to Krause while in jail, and that medications are properly administered.

In response to a prosecutor's claim that there was a high likelihood of conviction in the case, Simon said "there may well be an affirmative defense here."

He declined to comment further on the matter after the hearing. He waived the reading of the complaint and his client stood mute.

Matters of mental health treatment behind bars are for the jail officials to decide, Fink said. She denied bond at the request of Assistant Washtenaw County Prosecutor John Vella.

Prosecutors believe Krause "poses a high risk of danger to the community and public," Vella said.

Police said the father and son had been drinking before the homicide. The mother fled the home to call 911. The younger Krause also called police, according to Metzer.

He "essentially advised that his dad was yelling at he and his mom and ... that basically he snapped and started hitting his father," Metzer said.

The elder Krause was declared dead at the scene. He was an area dentist and a former faculty member at the University of Michigan Dental School, according to his professional website.

Neighbor Kathy Griswold, an Ann Arbor city council member, said Monday that the death may have involved a mental health concern.

Griswold, whose children grew up with the Krause children, described the Krauses as a good family. A former social worker who watched the closure of state mental health hospitals over the years, Griswold said the incident points to a need for more comprehensive access to mental health treatment in Michigan.

"I'm just heartbroken," she said. "This is just so terrible and I don't know if this could be been prevented with better health services, but there is definitely a deficiency in our system."

Krause is scheduled for a Feb. 14 probable cause conference and a Feb. 21 preliminary examination.

The dates -- outside the typical allotted time frame -- were requested at a private bench conference with the attorneys, Fink said during the hearing.

Following the court hearing, Simon said the delay was due to scheduling issues.

Open murder is a charge that allows a jury to determine the degree of the offense upon conviction.

Michael B. Krause faces up to life in prison if convicted.

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(c)2019 The Ann Arbor News, Mich.

Visit The Ann Arbor News, Mich. at www.mlive.com/ann-arbor

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