By Annette Christie
January murder suspect still awaiting mental treatment; trial on hold
A suspect in a double murder that took place in Hagar Township is still awaiting mental treatment and must do so before he can face trial on two first degree murder charges. Alex Perez, 25, is lodged in the Berrien County Jail on $5 million bond while he awaits a transfer to a state mental facility for treatment.
Perez is charged in the murders of Renee Mitchell and her father John Mitchell. Mitchell had two children with Perez. He fled to Colorado after allegedly committing the double murders on January 14 of this year. He was found to be with the two Perez children, Nova Perez, 4 and Luna Perez, 3. The two girls were the subject of a nationwide amber alert.
Through police investigations it was determined that Perez had been present in the area and in the home of the deceased within 48 hours prior to the bodies being found at the residence in the 6400 block of M-63 in Hagar Township.
A female relative had gone to the home to check on the residents and found the father and daughter. The relative was the one that notified law enforcement of the missing children. They were located in Georgetown, Colorado with Perez. He was taken into custody and lodged at the Clear Creek County Jail. The two girls were reported to be unharmed.
Earlier this year, Perez was found to be incompetent to stand trial. A status hearing was held recently and found that Perez is still awaiting the transfer to the state facility but there are no openings.
Published reports state that while it was determined that Perez does understand the court proceedings, he is having delusional thoughts and is unable to work with his lawyer to assist with his defense as determined through a court ordered psychiatric examination.
Another status conference is scheduled for February 2017; if convicted, Perez faces life in prison without parole.