A suspected serial killer was charged Wednesday with open murder in the death of a woman on the city's west side, and more charges could follow in the slayings of five other women.
Matthew Emmanuel Macon, 27, of Lansing, was ordered held without bond during his video arraignment in Lansing District Court after being named as a suspect last week.
Macon, a recent prison parolee and registered sex offender, had been in prison off and on since 2001 before being paroled in late June. He was handcuffed and wearing an orange jail jumpsuit while standing beside his attorney, Mike O'Briant.
Macon waived the right to have a preliminary examination within 14 days. The preliminary exam was set for Oct. 30-31 in the death of Sandra Eichorn, 64, who was found dead in her home Aug. 27. Macon consistently responded to Judge Patrick F. Cherry's procedural questions by answering, "Yes sir, your honor."
After the arraignment, Macon's family members declined comment to the media and referred questions to his lawyer.
Macon's state of mind was good, O'Briant said, adding that he saw no need to seek a referral for a psychiatric evaluation.
"I do not believe he's incompetent," O'Briant said.
O'Briant said Macon's family is supportive of him and "his demeanor is up." O'Briant plans to file a motion to change venue, citing public statements about the case made by the Lansing mayor and police chief.
Lansing police announced last week the apprehension of a suspected "serial killer," and Mayor Virg Bernero called the suspect — who had not been named yet — a "monster."
The judge on Wednesday issued a restraining order preventing law enforcement officials and lawyers from speaking publicly about certain aspects of the case. He also suppressed parts of arrest warrants that have details about why Macon was charged.
O'Briant said Macon's relatives wanted the public to know that their "hearts go out to the victims.
"Let's not forget about them in this. There's some people out there with some very big grief."
Macon also was charged with first-degree home invasion and assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder at another Lansing home Aug. 28. The unnamed victim was hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries, and police have credited her dog with saving her and have credited the woman with providing key information.
Macon also could face charges in the deaths this summer of Ruth Hallman, 76; Deborah Cooke, 36; Debra Renfors, 46; and Karen Yates, 41. A number of the victims were beaten and found in Lansing houses.
Police also want Macon to be charged with the 2004 death of Barbara Jean Tuttle, 45, of Lansing. Both Tuttle and Renfors were found dead in the same house.