December 14, 2019

Sourander requests to represent himself in manslaughter case


WEST BRANCH — Patrick Sourander requested to represent himself during a motion hearing in 34th Circuit Court Nov. 6.

Sourander is charged with manslaughter, after the November 2014 shooting of Brett Ritter.

Sourander’s attorney recused himself Nov. 6 on the grounds that he had previously represented someone who provided information on the case.

Sourander was previously found guilty of second-degree murder, but he won an appeal with the Michigan Court of Appeals that resulted in his murder charge being overturned.

According to the opinion from the Court of Appeals, the jury during the trial was not instructed on the possible lesser offense of involuntary manslaughter. The court found that during his testimony, Sourander alleged that during a struggle with Ritter the handgun Sourander was holding went off, killing Ritter.

Sourander was found guilty in February 2016 of second-degree murder, felony possession of a firearm, felonious assault and felony firearm in respect to the felonious assault. As a result of the Court of Appeals ruling, the felony firearm charge was also overturned, as it was tied to the second-degree murder charge. The other charges were not overturned.

Sourander was originally sentenced to 36-50 years in prison.

Sentencing has been rescheduled for Jan. 22 to give Sourander time to review the memorandum for sentencing.


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