Homeless man sentenced to jail for threatening to blow up Walmart.

December 8, 2020

Homeless man sentenced to jail for threatening to blow up Walmart.

By Allison Scarbrough, Editor.


LUDINGTON — A 56-year-old homeless man who threatened to blow up the Ludington-area Walmart in October of 2019 was sentenced to one year in jail in 51st Circuit Court Tuesday, Dec. 8.

Richard William Kuehler pleaded guilty to attempted false report/threat of terrorism. Kuehler was arrested Oct. 8, 2019 by the Michigan State Police on a more serious felony charge of false report or threat of terrorism, which was dismissed when he pleaded to the lesser charge.

“Mr. Kuehler was in Walmart and threatened to blow up the store,” said Mason County Prosecutor Paul Spaniola. “He had just purchased propane.”

Kuehler’s attorney, Douglas Stevenson, disagreed with Spaniola. “Somebody misinterpreted Mr. Kuehler,” Stevenson said, noting that his client made an “offhand remark.”

Spaniola noted that Kuehler has a history of making similar threats after a similar incident at Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital in April of 2019. He was arrested by the Ludington Police Department for making a false bomb threat in the emergency room admitting area.

“What is doubly concerning is he clearly knew what he was doing,” said Spaniola. “There was a similar incident at the hospital and it was pled down to a misdemeanor.”

Kuehler pleaded guilty to disorderly person June 25, 2019 and was sentenced to 58 days served in jail with credit for 58 days served, according to court records.

“The ink was barley dry on the order when he committed this offense,” said the prosecutor.

“It was very quickly determined it was false,” previously said now-retired Ludington Police Chief Mark Barnett. The incident occurred Sunday, April 28, shortly before 3 a.m. “He told admitting staff he had a bomb,” the chief said in an apparent attempt at expediting medical services.

Kuehler has already served 375 days in jail for his current criminal case, so he has completed his one-year sentence. Judge Susan K. Sniegowski also ordered two years probation.

“In a short amount of time, he has terrorized this community,” said Spaniola. “We don’t need him here, and we don’t need the kind of behavior he brings to this community.”

Tuesday’s court proceeding was conducted via Zoom video conferencing due to COVID-19 restrictions.

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