Pierson Township murder suspect to undergo competency exam

By Elisabeth Waldon • Last Updated 4:11 pm on Monday, December 17, 2012

Robert Munsell

STANTON — A man accused of murdering a Pierson Township woman in her own home will undergo a competency examination before heading to trial.

Robert Munsell of Grand Rapids and Ionia is charged with the Nov. 17 open murder of Julie Danielson, 31.

Munsell was 29 years old when he was arrested. He marked his 30th birthday on Dec. 8 while lodged in the Montcalm County Jail in Stanton.

A preliminary examination previously scheduled for Nov. 27 was postponed until what was supposed to be today. However, Munsell requested on Monday that he be allowed to undergo a competency examination at a forensic center. Munsell’s request was granted in 64B District Court.

A forensic examination typically takes anywhere from two to four months. Munsell will remain in the Montcalm County Jail and will likely be transported by jail officials to the Kent County Jail in Grand Rapids for the competency sessions.

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, Nov. 17. 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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