Jump to content



Recommended Posts

By Gus Burns | fburns@mlive.com
Follow on Twitter
on April 21, 2016 at 3:52 PM, updated April 21, 2016 at 4:16 PM


PARMA, MI -- A morbid murder involving a Jackson man, who bludgeoned, dismembered and cooked his wife in the taco and pizza joint they owned, was cited by a judge Thursday in his warning to teens about the dangers of marijuana. 

Students, some not yet born when Kevin Artz committed the heinous crime, listened to Jackson District Judge Joseph Filip intently as he relayed the ghastly details of police finding Patricia Artz's head inside a box.


Man convicted of cutting up wife seeks new trial

By Danielle Quisenberry | A man convicted of first-degree murder in a case in which authorities said he dismembered and cooked his wife's body in their Summit Township restaurant is seeking a new trial. The request is based on what his defense says is new evidence he was in a state of marijuana-induced psychosis at the time of the killing.

The subject came during the question-and-answer session following a court-to-school event at Western High School in Parma. The event brought a real-life felony court proceeding to the high school auditorium for nearly 200 students to view.

John Anderson, a 26-year teacher, asked the judge how the criminal justice system is dealing with Jackson County's methamphetamine epidemic

"We have to figure out, why would you put a needle in your vein and shoot heroin up it," Filip said. "Sometimes you have to have that mindset that you want to do it, and what softens up the mind? Marijuana. Alcohol.

"Now I know that might not be terribly popular around here ... But that's it." 



Felony court proceeding relocated to unlikely venue, a high school theater

The theater lights lit the dusty black stage at Western High School in Parma and the defendant, looking annoyed at times, fidgeted in her chair.

Filip, who spent the majority of his career in the Jackson County Prosecutor's Office before his election to district judge in 2004, said it's been that way since he started in 1973.

A psychiatrist in 2007 wrote a report stating Arntz might have been in a marijuana-induced psychosis, characterized by delusions and intense fear, when he murdered his wife in July 1999.

20184785-small.pngKevin Artz, MDOC photoGus Burns | fburns@mlive.com

It's on those grounds Arntz unsuccessfully appealed his murder conviction.

"So the argument that marijuana doesn't hurt anybody," Filip said. "Yeah, Kevin Arntz cooked his wife because he was hallucinating over marijuana, thought she was the she-devil, at least that's what he told people."

Filip talked about how investigators found small amounts of marijuana at the crime scene and witnesses said Artz smoked marijuana heavily during the month before killing his wife.

Arntz also previously had a fist-size tumor removed from his brain, the judge said.

Filip made clear he's against legalization of marijuana and disputes claims it reduces crime.

"If someone breaks into your house so they can steal stuff to buy marijuana. Would you care?" he asked the high school students. " ... They have to commit crimes to support that habit. Marijuana becomes a habit.

And the idea that "frees us up to chase the bad guys. What drug do you think the bad guys are one most of the time? Marijuana, or they're an alcoholic. That's what I see in the system from my perspective. Am I dead wrong? Could be."

The judge said multiple times that marijuana and alcohol "softens" the brain, making people more susceptible to harder drugs, including meth, cocaine and heroin.

Repeatedly throughout his career, Filip says he's heard the same thing: "'I smoked marijuana when I was 11. I smoked marijuana when I was 13' ... maybe with their parent, believe it or not."

"They go to heroin because the pills are too expensive," the judge said. "Well, marijuana can be expensive too ... chasing the dragon.

"The dragon is that first high. And time after time after time they keep trying to find ... that same high again. It might start with marijuana, it might start with alcohol, they can't find it, so they go to the next drug."


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can't think of a single time when my marijuana "softened my mind" enough to where I thought about giving heroin a shot.

Alcohol, on the other hand, well...that's an entirely different ball game, and it could be very easy to convince folk who get as drunk as I do when I actually drink. All...once every couple of years. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...