Brigham

Prosecutor: Tuscola Co. man charged with kidnapping, assaulting child competent to stand trial

Brigham
Brigham

A 48-year-old Unionville man facing multiple life sentences for allegedly kidnapping and sexually assaulting an 8-year-old Millington area child has been determined competent to stand trial.
Tuscola County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Reene said David Alex Brigham, 48, of Unionville, is back in Tuscola County jail awaiting a Jan. 30 pre-trial hearing in Tuscola County Circuit Court.
Brigham was tested in late 2016 by representatives of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ Center for Forensic Psychiatry in Ypsilanti.
Reene said Brigham waived his preliminary examination in a Tuscola County District Court hearing last week.
Brigham is charged with 24 counts related to the alleged July 30 abduction.
The charges include two counts of kidnapping, unlawful imprisonment, and 18 counts of criminal sexual conduct. Brigham faces up to life in prison on eight of the counts related to kidnapping and first-degree criminal sexual conduct, which by legal definition includes sexual penetration.
According to Reene, officials from the center interviewed Brigham, and used details from the case, along with other documents “that might shed light on his mental status.”
The competency portion of the evaluating process is designed to determine if he is able to assist in his own defense. Evaluations determined Brigham understands the role of his own attorney, the judge, and the prosecutor.
The criminal responsibility part of the evaluations determines “if he can be held criminally responsible for what he has allegedly done,” Reene said.
The alleged incident — called “the ultimate nightmare” by Reene — happened in the early morning hours of July 30, when the child was abducted from a home in “the area of Swaffer Road in Millington.”
The child was reported missing at 5:20 a.m. and the Tuscola County Sheriff’s Department began an immediate search. Reene described Brigham’s acquaintance with the child as a “former relative through marriage.” He added that Brigham had no permission to enter the residence for any reason, such as babysitting.
Reene alleged assaults “were in the car, in the area.”
Following the alleged assaults, at about 10:30 a.m., Brigham and the child returned to the child’s residence while law enforcement was there, Reene said. For legal reasons, he couldn’t comment on why Brigham and the child returned to the residence.
Reene said Brigham was immediately taken into custody.
Initially, his bond was set at $3 million, but it was later withdrawn completely — an option that Reene said can be used in certain cases considered extreme, such as Brigham’s.
At the time of his arrest, Brigham’s primary residence was in Unionville, though Reene said “he was more of a floater.” He is not listed on the state’s Sex Offender Registry.
Since the time of return, the child has been in protective custody and undergoing extensive counseling and treatment.
Reene said investigators are asking anyone with additional information about Brigham to call the Tuscola County Sheriff’s Department at 989-673-8161.
Andrew Dietderich is editor of The Advertiser and can be reached at andrew@tcadvertiser.com

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