Breitung man accused of stabbing deputy competent to stand trial

MATTHEW
JOHNSON

MATTHEW JOHNSON

IRON MOUNTAIN — The case against a Breitung Township man accused of stabbing a Dickinson County sheriff’s deputy in January will continue now that he has been deemed competent to stand trial.

Matthew David Johnson, 23, will return to Dickinson County District Court for a preliminary examination May 30.

Defense attorney Michael Scholke said in court Thursday he did not contest the state forensic psychiatry center’s determination on competency. However, he noted he was more concerned with the results of Johnson’s criminal responsibility evaluation, which is not yet complete.

Competency gauges if a defendant is able to understand court proceedings, while criminal responsibility determines if a defendant was legally insane when he or she committed the crime.

Johnson remains incarcerated at the Dickinson County Jail.

He faces charges of assault with intent to murder, a life felony; four counts of resisting or obstructing a police officer, a two-year felony; possession of marijuana, a one-year misdemeanor; and two counts of domestic violence, a 93-day misdemeanor.

Police went to Johnson’s home on Sportsmens Club Road in Breitung Township on Jan. 29 on a domestic violence report, according to the criminal complaint.

When they tried to talk to Johnson, he went into the kitchen and grabbed a wooden-handled knife with an 8-inch blade, the complaint stated.

Officers tackled Johnson to the ground, and during the struggle, he reportedly stabbed a deputy in the midsection with enough force to puncture the man’s Kevlar vest, according to the complaint.

The vest helped prevent life-threatening injuries to the deputy, according to the initial press release from the sheriff’s department.

Johnson reportedly continued to resist officers until they were able to use a Taser on him multiple times.

Officers later seized a marijuana plant and jar of suspected marijuana from the residence, the complaint stated.

Before Thursday, Johnson last was in court Feb. 15, when Scholke’s office requested the competency and criminal responsibility evaluations.

Nikki Younk can be reached at 906-774-2772, ext. 41, or nyounk@ironmountaindailynews.com.

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