Emotions run high at Pierson Township murder arraignment

Posted by Elisabeth Waldon • Last Updated 10:11 am on Tuesday, November 20 2012

Robert Munsell, 29, of Grand Rapids and Ionia, was arraigned Monday and charged with murdering Julie Danielson, 31, of Pierson Township. — Daily News/Elisabeth Waldon

STANTON — Julie Lynn Danielson’s family and friends packed a small courtroom Monday afternoon to witness the video arraignment of her alleged murderer.

Robert Michael Munsell, 29, of Grand Rapids and Ionia, is charged with the open murder of Danielson, 31, of Pierson Township. Munsell was arraigned before Magistrate Richard Palmer in 64B District Court.

When Palmer denied Munsell any bond, Munsell somewhat hesitantly said, “Can I ask why not?”

Danielson’s family and friends reacted to Munsell’s question by yelling and cursing at him in outrage. One woman shouted, “Because you killed her, you son of a b—-!”

Palmer used his gavel to restore court to order.

“Because the case you’re looking at is a murder case,” the magistrate informed Munsell.

Munsell will remain in the Montcalm County Jail in Stanton. He is scheduled for a pretrial hearing next Monday and a preliminary examination next Tuesday in 64B District Court.

John Raven of Greenville was court-appointed to be Munsell’s defense attorney.

After Munsell was arraigned, Danielson’s family and friends exited the courtroom and entered another room to meet with Teresa Good, a crime victim advocate for the court. The group showed a wide range of emotions, from faces tight with anger to eyes wide with shock to openly sobbing in grief.

Montcalm County Sheriff’s officials responded to Danielson’s home in the 40000 block of Whitefish Woods Drive in Pierson Township after a 911 call reported an assault and an unresponsive person at 3:58 a.m. Saturday. Danielson was found dead in the home.

Danielson’s two young sons were not present when the murder occurred.

The murder investigation led sheriff’s officials through several counties before Munsell was arrested. Munsell is described by sheriff’s officials as being an acquaintance of Danielson.

The Montcalm County Sheriff’s Office was assisted in their investigation by the Grand Rapids Police Department, Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office and the Michigan State Police Crime Lab.

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