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Mark David Latunski sent to trial on murder charge for Kevin Bacon’s death

The lead investigator testified that Latunski told him about an alleged deal to kill Bacon
Published: Oct. 23, 2020 at 1:29 PM EDT
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SHIAWASSEE COUNTY, Mich. (WJRT) - The man accused of killing and dismembering 25-year-old Kevin Bacon around Christmastime last year will stand trial on murder charges.

A Shiawassee County judge sent the case against 51-year-old Mark David Latunski to trial on Friday after hearing testimony from five witnesses during a 2.5-hour preliminary hearing.

Latunski is charged with open murder and mutilating a dead body. He could face up to life in prison if convicted. A trial date for Latunski was not immediately scheduled.

Latunski is accused of killing and mutilating Bacon in the basement of Latunski’s former home on Tyrrell Road in Shiawassee County’s Bennington Township last December. Bacon’s family reported him missing when he failed to show up for a Christmas breakfast. Police found his body hanging in the basement of Latunski’s former home three days later.

Latunski appeared at the hearing on a video feed. He was not in the courtroom. He sat silent, almost motionless and stared forward during most of Friday’s 2.5-hour hearing. Bacon’s parents were also in the courtroom for the testimony.

During the hearing Friday, Michigan State Police Det. Sgt. James Moore said Latunski told police that he had an agreement with Bacon to carry out one of Bacon’s fantasies.

“He said that they initiated a conversation on Grindr that an agreement had been made between the two of them to engage in sexual activity,” Moore testified.

He told the judge that Latunski told investigators he picked Bacon up at a Family Dollar near Bacon’s home on Christmas Eve. Latunski had Bacon leave his phone and clothes behind in his car.

After that, Latunski allegedly told investigators that he had Bacon pick out an outfit, blindfolded him, put earmuffs and restraints on him for the nearly 30-minute drive to his Bennington Township home. Moore testified that both role playing and props were involved.

It ended in Latunski’s basement.

“Latunski stated that Kevin Bacon had explained to him that he had been suicidal in the past. The discussion began about how Latunski could make Mr. Bacon’s body disappear,” Moore testified.

He added that Latunski told him Bacon asked to use a sword, but Latunski told investigators that he used a knife instead because the believed it would make Bacon’s death painless. To ensure he didn’t feel any more pain, Latunski told the officer he hung him to drain the blood from his body.

Moore testified that Latunski then cooked and ate a part of Bacon’s body because it was a new moon. Then, he carried out the rest of what Latunski said was their agreement.

“As a result of ending his life that he was going to utilize Kevin Bacon’s body for different things,” Moore testified.

He testified that Latunski had purchased a dehydrator to carry out some of those plans.

Michigan State Police Det. Robert Viviano testified about going to Latunski’s house with four other police officers later that week, because they had evidence indicating Bacon may be there. Viviano said he found Bacon’s partially dismembered body hanging in Latunski’s basement.

“I peeked around the corner and immediately pulled my head back and exclaimed, 'Oh my God! Oh my God!” Viviano testified.

Another officer immediately handcuffed Latunski.

Moore brought a knife to court in an evidence bag. He testified that the knife was the murder weapon that Latunski used to kill Bacon and a Michigan State Police forensic scientist testified that Bacon’s DNA was found on the knife.

Shiawassee County’s assistant medical examiner, Dr. Patrick Harisma, testified about Bacon’s autopsy. He told the court that Bacon died of homicide caused by sharp force injuries and described stab wounds found on Bacon’s neck.

Latunski’s defense attorney, Shiawassee County Public Defender Doug Corwin, has tried to prove that Latunski is insane. While questioning Moore, Corwin alleged that Bacon consented to dying.

Corwin asked the judge to add a charge of assisted suicide against Latunski, but that’s not legally allowed so the judge denied that request. Corwin did not call any witnesses during Friday’s hearing, but likely will during the trial.

In February, a Shiawassee County judge ruled that Latunski wasn’t mentally competent to stand trial at the time. But after months of treatment at the Michigan Center for Forensic Psychiatry near Ypsilanti, Latunski was deemed competent to continue court proceedings.

The judge ruled in January that the court will allow an insanity defense for Latunski, who is being represented by Shiawassee County Public Defender Doug Corwin.

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