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Suspects in South Haven Murder Ordered Tested


(Allegan) -  There are those who say that killing a man and torching his body is a sign that someone isn’t in their right mind, but does that mind know right from wrong?

            Psychiatric examinations were ordered yesterday by Allegan District Court Judge Joseph Skocelas for 23-year-old Alison Martin and 24-year-old Justin Terpstra, postponing a scheduled preliminary hearing for the engaged couple from Kalamazoo.

            According to investigators, Martin allegedly lured 25-year-old Brandon Silverlight of South Haven, a former boyfriend, to a seasonal trailer park on November 14th. The victim was then beaten twice by Terpstra, which led to his death, and then taken to a remote field in Casco Township just north of the county line, where he and his vehicle were subsequently torched.

            Martin remains in the Allegan County Jail, held without bond, while Terpstra is in Jackson State Prison on an unrelated charge. They face open murder and conspiracy charges, and could be sentenced to life in prison without parole if convicted.

            Skocelas will review the results of the competency tests in a hearing on March 17th.

-Gary Stevens, WHTC/WYVN News