Twining man charged in threatening state government agency, Whitmer

The Detroit News

A 57-year-old Twining man accused of leaving threatening messages for the governor and saying he would shoot up the Unemployment Insurance Agency office has been charged.

Douglas Melrose was charged Monday in the 81st District Court of Arenac County with making a terrorist threat, a 20-year felony, according to Michigan State Police.

Troopers from the state police's West Branch post on Friday were made aware of the threatening voicemails left by a man, later identified as Melrose, claiming they were intended specifically for Governor Gretchen Whitmer. The message included the suspect's name and telephone number. In it, he indicated he was unhappy with Whitmer regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and other related issues.  

After outlining his complaints, he indicated that he planned to load his guns, drive to the State Capitol, and kill everyone he could find within the Unemployment Insurance Agency office, according to Michigan State Police. He continued by stating the State of Michigan will either get him the money he felt he is owed, or he would travel to Lansing and “start shooting.”

Once that message was completed, he left a second message, authorities said, where he again identified himself, provided his phone number, and indicated he was prepared to shoot and kill anyone he could find in the state’s Unemployment Insurance Agency office, then himself.  

An arrest warrant out of Arenac County was issued for Making a Terrorist Threat — a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison. 

Troopers from the West Branch post were able to locate the suspect and have taken him into custody without incident, MSP said. The suspect is currently being lodged at the Arenac County Jail awaiting arraignment.