GRAND HAVEN, MICH. - The man who drove his truck into the US Coast Guard station in Grand Haven and set fire to his parent’s property in Mears in 2015, had charges dropped after he pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.
Matthew Krueger, 35, is now facing new charges in Oceana County after driving his truck into a Shopko store on Wednesday.
Back in 2015, Krueger spent several months in jail as his criminal case played out in both Oceana and Ottawa Counties. His mental health was in question.
After two Psychological evaluations, he was labeled mentally ill and legally insane. According to court documents, Krueger's problems started long before he set fire to a building on his parent’s property. He moved-in with them in 2014, due to his mental health issues.
On February 7, 2015, Krueger told investigators that he wanted to commit suicide. He set is parents pole barn on fire, but after having doubts, he got in his truck and headed south. At that point, he became paranoid that a bomb was in his truck.
Krueger called 911 and said he was going to drive his truck into US Guard station in Grand Haven -- the morning of February 8, he did. Witnesses say he looked crazed and said "Help me, help me, you need to protect me. They made me do it."
Oceana County Prosecutor Joe Bizon said he was concerned about Krueger’s mental health in 2015, when he was charged with arson. He was also charged with two felonies in Ottawa County; threat of terrorism and malicious destruction of property. Krueger was ordered to under a psychological evaluation. "There is a very narrow and medical definition of legally insane," Bizon says.
The first doctor said Krueger was not "intellectually disabled, but was suffering from delusions and was mentally ill".
A second, independent doctor confirmed the first evaluation. She said Krueger was not criminally responsible for the events of February 8. "If someone is mentally ill to point of where they are not criminally responsible, their case gets converted into a mental health case," the doctor said.
Krueger eventually plead not guilty by reason of insanity and his criminal charges were dismissed. He was referred to a mental institution for 60 days.
Krueger was sent to the Michigan Center for Forensic Psychiatry in Ann Arbor. Bizon said he didn't know when Krueger was released and was surprised to hear that he was back in town.
According to the Michigan Department of Community Health, notifications are required to be made to victims, but not law enforcement.
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