By Annette Christie
National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on April 29
The Michigan State Police (MSP) is again partnering with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and other law enforcement agencies for National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day to provide a venue for citizens to dispose of unwanted and unused prescription drugs.
MSP’s 30 posts will participate in the one-day “Take-Back” effort from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 29, by serving as drop-off points for Michiganders to discard expired, unused and unwanted medications for destruction. No liquids, inhalers, patches, or syringes will be accepted.
“Something as simple as removing unused medications from your home can help save lives,” stated Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, Director of the MSP. “We are committed to decreasing prescription drug abuse, accidental poisonings and overdoses, which are all too common here in Michigan and across the nation.”
During the one-day effort in October, MSP posts collected a total of 871 pounds of prescription drugs.
Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.
The closest MSP Posts to the Tri-City area are in Niles at 1600 Silverbrook Avenue and in Paw Paw at 43255 60th Avenue. Citizens who are not able to participate on National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day can anonymously surrender their prescription drugs at any MSP post, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., excluding holidays.
Sad ending in Search for Paw Paw Teen
On Thursday, April 13, 2017, Michigan State Police Troopers at the Paw Paw Post took a complaint about a missing 18-year-old male from the Paw Paw area. Shawn Thomas Capaccio was last seen at his home at approximately 6 a.m. on that day. Capaccio, who was believed to have Asperger’s, was considered to be in danger.
Sadly, on April 14, 2017 at approximately 2:55 p.m., he was located by a Michigan State Police K9. Shawn was found deceased in a wooded area in Paw Paw Township. No signs of foul play are suspected.
As Shawn was a senior at Paw Paw High School, the school administration brought in counseling staff and crisis workers to assist.
Perez still found to be incompetent for trial; charged with two counts of murder
Alex Perez, charged with two counts of first degree murder in the deaths of Hagar Township residents Renee Mitchell and her father John Mitchell, is still incompetent to stand trial for the murders based on an update filed in the Berrien County Trial Court.
The Mitchells were found dead in a Hagar Township home on January 14, 2016. Perez and Renee Mitchell had two children together which were the subject of a nationwide Amber Alert at the same time. The three and four year-old girls were found in the possession of their father, Perez, in Georgetown, Colorado the next morning. Perez was taken into custody and the children were returned to Michigan. He fought extradition back to Michigan which delayed his return. His parental rights have since been severed by the courts, despite his efforts to block that as well.
Perez was determined to be incompetent last June, however, he was unable to be taken to the state psychiatric hospital for treatment because there were no beds. He has since been transferred there for in-patient care until he can be deemed competent to stand trial and to assist his lawyer in his defense. As is required, the hospital must provide updates to the court.
Published reports state that Perez believed his children were being abused and that killing their mom and grandpa was the only way to spare them and he has told psychiatrists that he had tried to get the girls help but was unsuccessful. There is no evidence that the children were being abused, however, what could be called delusions are preventing Perez from assisting in his defense.
Reports state that Judge Scott Schofield ordered Perez to continue treatment, however, he also ordered that Perez be tested for criminal responsibility. The criminal responsibility testing will help to resolve whether Perez was sane or not at the time of the crime, the murder of two individuals. The hospital will send the results of the progress of the treatment and the testing as it is made available.