Harold Ordway of Delton was recently charged with open murder in the September 2011 shooting death of Paul Frederic Atchley, one of Delton’s past roommates. Ordway had long been suspected in the deaths of Atchley and 33-year-old Michael VanBuskirk, although prosecutors lacked sufficient evidence to charge Ordway in the deaths.
According to a news article at Mlive.com, new developments which the Prosecutor’s Office could not discuss led to the charge of open murder being filed against Ordway, who has been held on federal weapons charges after pleading guilty to the weapons offense in November of last year.
It all began when Ordway was involved in a crash in Plainwell on M-89 in which Allegan County sheriff’s deputies located items in the back of Ordway’s pickup truck including a gun, ammunition, and a mattress that allegedly had Atchley’s blood on it.
Initially, Atchley was missing, and VanBuskirk had been found dead in Kalamazoo County. Ordway was suspected in both the disappearance and death, and was said to have stopped taking bi-polar medication. Witnesses told police that Atchley was killed because Ordway had told him about the earlier killing of VanBuskirk. Ordway’s attorney claimed that VanBuskirk suffered from alcoholism and was known to suffer from depression, and that evidence suggested suicide was the cause of death.
Ordway was reportedly preparing to move into his parents’ Delton home, and had been renovating a Battle Creek house. Atchley moved into the home while Ordway was still living there, and VanBuskirk, who was said to be homeless, was helping with the renovation.
Ordway was arraigned in Atchley’s shooting death on Tuesday, May 14. He is scheduled for sentencing in the federal weapons violations charge on June 24. Prosecutors are asking that Ordway receive the maximum sentence of 10 years because of his involvement in the deaths. Federal sentencing guidelines call for a minimum of 27 months in prison.
While Ordway has only just been charged with open murder, Michigan homicide defense lawyers know that if convicted, he will likely spend a great number of years or perhaps even life behind bars.
If you are investigation for murder or have been charged, take action to protect your freedom and future immediately by consulting with a skilled Michigan criminal defense attorney.