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Published: Thursday, 9/10/2009

Defendant can't plead insanity, court rules

BY ERICA BLAKE
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Michael Swiergosz, who is accused of twice keeping police at bay in separate standoffs within weeks of each other, was found not eligible for a not guilty by reason of insanity plea yesterday and instead pleaded not guilty to multiple assault, kidnapping, and burglary charges.

Lucas County Common Pleas Court Judge Denise Ann Dartt reviewed two evaluations before making her decision that Mr. Swiergosz was not eligible for the plea.

Mr. Swiergosz, 47, of 615 Scenic Drive, is charged with three counts of kidnapping, one count of felonious assault, two counts of rape, one count of aggravated burglary, and one count of intimidation of a crime victim or witness, all with gun specifications. He is also charged with one count of having a weapon while under indictment for a felony.

He is accused of holding his estranged wife hostage for several hours in an April 28 stand- off with police that shut down an Ottawa Hills retirement village and several schools in the area.

The incident occurred while he was free on bond in a separate case involving a standoff with police on March 10. He is charged with two counts of felonious assault for an incident in which he allegedly held authorities at bay for several hours outside his Springfield Township home. If convicted on all charges, he faces in excess of 100 years in prison.

In addition to the Lucas County cases, Mr. Swiergosz was recently indicted by a Wood County grand jury and charged with one count of burglary. The charge stems from allegations that he broke into an acquaintance's Perrysburg Township home on April 28 to steal the .357 Glock handgun he allegedly used when barging into the Sunset Retirement Communities on Indian Road later that day.

He is scheduled to be arraigned today on the charge and faces up to five years in prison if convicted.

According to court documents, Mr. Swiergosz was armed with the gun when he entered a building at the retirement community, where his estranged wife was employed.

Mr. Swiergosz is accused of hitting his wife on the head with a steel tire iron, causing a severe laceration to her skull. He then allegedly held her captive for six hours while negotiating with police.

He is in custody in lieu of $4.1 million bond. Judge Dartt set a Nov. 2 trial date for both cases.



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