Michigan man pleads guilty in grisly 2019 slaying

Detroit News staff and wire reports

A Michigan man charged in the 2019 death of a date whose mutilated body was found at his home pleaded guilty Thursday in the case.

Mark Latunski faced a hearing in Shiawassee County's 35th District Court, where he entered the pleas to two counts of open murder and mutilation of a body, records show.

A judge had scheduled a jury trial to begin Oct. 18.

Latunski allegedly killed 25-year-old Kevin Bacon in December 2019 and mutilated his body. Police found the body hanging from the ceiling of Latunski’s home in Bennington Township, 90 miles northwest of Detroit

Bacon’s roommate told police the 25-year-old met Latunski on Christmas Eve after connecting with him on the Grindr dating app. His family reported him missing the next day.

Police said Latunski, who was 50 at the time, admitted to killing Bacon and then eating parts of his body.

Latunski was found competent on May 11 to stand trial after previously being found incompetent and then being restored to competency.

One of Latunski’s attorneys, Mary Chartier, has expressed concerns about her client’s ability to participate in his own defense.

Divorce, custody and criminal records show a history of complaints about Latunski’s mental health. He was known to stop taking medication prescribed to treat his mental illnesses.

In a statement Thursday, Chartier said her client "made the difficult decision to plead guilty in the tragic death of Mr. Bacon. The law requires that attorneys must follow the objectives of clients found to be legally competent as it relates to decisions, such as pleading guilty, even if the attorneys believe that it is not in the best interests of the client."

She added: "We will continue to vigorously advocate for Mr. Latunski at the degree hearing and sentencing."