When the Sheriff’s Office was contacted asking why Lighthall was not arrested and taken to jail during the incident Clare City Police responded to at Rosewood Manor, Undersheriff Dwayne Miedzianowski issued the following statement:
On 05/05/22 at approximately 2:00 a.m. Clare County Central Dispatch was contacted by Clare City Police to confirm if Kevin Lighthall could be lodged on a failure to appear warrant. The 911 Dispatcher advised Clare Police the jail would not hold the gentleman due to the warrant only being a failure to appear. The Corrections / Jail Shift Commander was not contacted prior to that decision being relayed to the Clare Police like it normally would have been done. Clare Police later contacted the Jail Shift Commander requesting authorization to lodge the gentleman if they had contact with him again and the Jail Shift Commander advised they would accept him for lodging.
By Pat Maurer
A Clare homeowner has been cleared of criminal charges resulting from his shooting of Kevin Lighthall during a home invasion last month.
In a press release Thursday morning May 5th, Clare City Police Chief Dave Saad reported that officers responded to a “home invasion in progress” on McEwan Street and Dwyer around 6 a.m. in the morning.
As they were arriving, Saad said officers heard gunshots from the residence. The investigation revealed that the homeowner had fired a weapon at the intruder causing fatal injuries. No one else, police or the homeowner was injured during the incident.
A later release from Clare Police Chief Dave Saad the man was identified as Kevin Michael Lighthall, 48, of Clare.
Clare County Prosecutor Michelle Ambrozaitis explained, using the summary reports from Clare Police and the Michigan State Police, the events leading up to the shooting incident, that Lighthall was the subject of a first 9-1-1 police call around 2 am May 5th at the Rosewood Manor. The call reported “a suspicious male wandering around claiming that he was “the State” and that he “owned the place.” He was also reportedly “acting aggressive toward tenants.”
Officers responding to the call identified Kevin Lighthall and learned that “he was staying with an individual in one of the rooms, but that the individual had asked Lighthall to leave.” The officers found Lighthall “in the lobby wearing a black and maroon sweatshirt with the name ‘Hocky’ on it and black and plaid pajama bottoms.”
Reportedly Lighthall said he was the “owner of the place” and identified himself as “Satan.” He told officers “They were not welcome there and walked away toward the room where he was staying.”
Officers said he didn’t respond to their directions to ‘stop’ and “walked to the room where he was staying.” The responding officers spoke with the actual tenant of the room, who said he allowed Lighthall to stay, “but he was not acting like himself.” He described Lighthall as “rude and scaring other tenants,” and said he would “talk to himself, call himself Satan and assert that he owned the place,” meaning Rosewood Manor.
Police check on Lighthall found he had a warrant for his arrest for failure to appear, but officers said that the jail wouldn’t allow him to be lodged on that warrant. Lighthall left the room and the building. Officers professed that “this individual was going to be a problem later.”
Later, at 6:08 am, a 9-1-1 call from the female homeowner at 1131 N. McEwan Street said there was an intruder in the home and that her husband was holding him at gunpoint.
She said she was in the bedroom and couldn’t see what was going on, but she described what she was hearing. The interaction with the dispatcher ended after the female homeowner said shots were fired and her husband had shot the intruder.
The male homeowner told officers that he, his wife and an 18-year-old family friend were in the home when Lighthall entered their home without permission. He told officers the door may have been left unlocked from when he was up earlier in the evening.
He told officers he woke up to the “sound of the floor creaking, grabbed his firearm and flashlight and went to investigate the noise.”
He said he saw a person in his kitchen jump up and say “oh f…” He ordered the man repeatedly to leave his home, to which the intruder, identified as Whitehall responded with “F… you, I’m Satan.”
Eventually Whitehall told the homeowner his name was Kevin. The homeowner placed himself between Lighthall and the rooms where his wife and family friend were.
The homeowner continued to hold Lighthall at gunpoint and order him to leave while his wife called 9-1-1.
“The homeowner heard what he described as authoritative voices at the door of his house. This door entered into the kitchen where Lighthall was located. Lighthall yelled at them, claiming he was Satan. As police made entrance into the home, Lighthall charged toward the homeowner who then fired three shots. Two of the three shots hit Lighthall, causing him to drop to the floor. Police ordered the homeowner to drop his firearm, which he did.”
The first Clare City Officer on the scene said could see Lighthall in the kitchen area through the windows on the door, and recognized him as matching the description of the man his fellow officers had dealt with earlier in the morning and was still in the same clothes from the earlier interaction.
He said Lighthall was loud and aggressive when interacting with him, using foul language and claiming to be Satan. He readied his taser. Moments later Clare Police Chief Dave Saad arrived “and he also interacted with Lighthall through the door,” commanding him to open the locked door. Lighthall told him he was Satan, but did unlock and open the door slightly before slamming it shut again.
When Chief Saad entered the home, Lighthall charged toward the homeowner, who fired three shots causing Lighthall to fall to the floor. As shots were fired, Chief Saad called out to the homeowner that they were in the home and told him to put his weapon down.
Lighthall’s autopsy revealed that there were two gunshot wounds: one through the center of the chest and the second through the abdomen. A toxicology analysis was also performed. The results showed that Lighthall had recently used methamphetamine and marijuana.
In her conclusion, Ambrozaitis said, “Lighthall entered the home in the early morning hours without permission of the homeowners. He would not leave when asked to do so and claimed that he was “Satan.” Lighthall violated the sanctity and safety of their home. The homeowner did not fire upon Lighthall until Lighthall charged toward him. In light of Lighthall’s aggressive demeanor and claims that he was “Satan,” the homeowner certainly acted under the honest and reasonable belief that he or the others in the home were in immediate danger of death or serious injury and that immediate action was necessary to protect himself and the others in the home.”
She concluded, “The homeowner was legally justified in shooting Lighthall and no criminal charges will be filed against him.”