Case against man accused of running over, killing wife meets delays

June 11, 2024

Mark Casterman

By Allison Scarbrough, News Editor

LUDINGTON — The defense attorney representing a 59-year-old Grand Rapids man accused of running over his wife with a car and killing her said that he intends to file motions, which will delay the case in Mason County’s 51st Circuit Court.

“There is extensive discovery, and I ask the court to adjourn,” said defense attorney Horia Neagos, who represents Mark Lazon Casterman, during a pretrial hearing Tuesday, June 11.

“I anticipate filing two motions,” said the attorney. One motion will be a request to “suppress some statements made by my client,” and the second motion will be a request to “suppress some evidence. Given the allegations and extremely tragic nature of this case, there should not be a date set for trial yet.”

A T-shirt worn by one of Melissa Casterman-Medacco’s family members Tuesday.

Mason County Prosecuting Attorney Beth Hand said she had no objection to Neagos filing the motions, but stressed that “all these delays are attributed to the defendant.” Therefore, there will not be a bond hearing scheduled due to the delays.

“My client is aware he will remain incarcerated,” said Neagos. “These are motions that have to be filed on Mr. Casterman’s behalf. I need more time to make sure his rights are properly defended.”

Casterman is currently lodged in the Mason County Jail on a $1 million cash/surety bond. He is charged with homicide – open murder, operating while intoxicated causing death, operating while license suspended causing death and third-offense operating while intoxicated. Homicide is punishable by up to life imprisonment; operating while intoxicated causing death carries a 15-year maximum; operating while license suspended, revoked, or denied causing death also carries a 15-year maximum; and third-offense operating while intoxicated is punishable by one to five years in prison.

Several family members of the victim in the case, Melissa Casterman-Medacco, appeared in court for the pretrial Tuesday. Many of them were wearing T-shirts in support of their late loved one. It appeared that no one was in the courtroom on the defendant’s behalf.

Judge Susan K. Sniegowski said the next possible hearing date will not be until August or September.

Neagos made a motion April 9, to dismiss the charges, and Judge Sniegowski later denied that motion in a written opinion and order.

An argument during a ride home from the casino led to the death of 45-year-old Melissa Casterman-Medacco, who the prosecution alleges was run over by a car driven by her husband of 16 years on Sept. 15, 2023 on US 31 near Freeman Road in Free Soil Township.

Mason County Sheriff Kim Cole previously said Casterman-Medacco was killed instantly and declared dead at the scene.

Former Prosecutor Lauren Kreinbrink said that “the fight, the anger and the drinking led to the crash” during a preliminary examination in 79th District Court, Dec. 6, 2023.

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