Man faces charges for allegedly threatening Shelby Township judge

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby-Utica News | Published June 24, 2022




SHELBY TOWNSHIP — Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel recently announced two charges against a Detroit man who allegedly threatened a Shelby Township judge.

The Department of Attorney General alleges that Marion Williams Richardson, 75, threatened to go to the home of Chief Judge Douglas Shepherd, of the 41-A District Court in Shelby Township, and kill him. Richardson allegedly made the threat over the phone to court staff during the week of May 23.

Because Shepherd currently serves in Macomb County, the case was referred to the Department of Attorney General for investigation.

Nessel said in a press release that threats like these will not be tolerated.

“I refuse to disregard threats made against elected officials and their families. Threatening the safety of a member of the bench is inexcusable, and I will not hesitate to use the resources of my office to prosecute such crimes,” she said.

Richardson is now charged in Macomb County 41-A District Court with one count of communicating a false threat of terrorism, a 20-year felony, and one count of malicious use of a telecommunications service, a six-month misdemeanor. 

Richardson’s arraignment took place May 27 at 41-A District Court in Sterling Heights. 

Lynsey Mukomel, press secretary, Office of Public Information & Education, Michigan Department of Attorney General, said that it is believed that Richardson had an altercation with the judge.

“We allege the defendant was unhappy with the judge, as he did have a case in front of him,” Mukomel said.

Richardson was back in the district court for another hearing earlier this month. Mukomel said that Richardson was sent to the Center for Forensic Psychiatry in Saline for an evaluation.

“At the last date, Richardson was referred to the forensic center for a competency and criminal responsibility evaluation. No new dates will be set until that assessment is complete,” she said.

Richardson had a prior case for a disorderly person and malicious use of telecommunications in 2018 that was wrapped up last December. That case started out as a stalking case.

Richardson also had cases in the 41-A District Court from five to seven years ago for domestic violence and traffic offenses.

His attorney, Elisha Oakes, from the Macomb County Office of Public Defender, declined to comment. The Department of Attorney General stated in the press release that “a criminal charge is merely an allegation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.”