Attorneys questioning mental health of suspect in double homicide

Posted at 7:27 PM, Jan 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-25 08:06:59-05

People who live on the 3300 block of Lake Lansing road in Meridian TWP thought the Subway getting robbed was the worst that could happen in the area.

"We've never had anything like that," explains Sharon Kelly, who lives just off Lake Lansing. "I've lived here a really really long time and no problems. At all."

But early Saturday morning Jeffrey Ballor and Kristin Pangman were found dead in a home on the 3300 block of East Lake Lansing road. Manual Pena was arrested later that day, according to court documents. Detectives say he was covered in blood and had some of the victim's possessions.

"My only thought was was it random?" asks Kelly. "Did he know these people or was it somebody that just all of a sudden picked these two people?"

Investigators aren't saying for now.

Defense attorney David Feinberg says he feels like something is off with Pena, especially after he refused to confirm his name to the magistrate at the arraignment.

"He's not here. He's not engaged. There's something wrong," emphasized Feinberg. "I've been doing this for a long time and I've sat with a lot of people, and when you have an attorney that visits you, typically there's an engagement there. There was none."

Feinberg will ask the judge to have Pena undergo a psychiatric evaluation before the case goes any further.

And even with Pena in custody, neighbors say it will be a while before they feel calm again.

"When it hits that close to home, where you walk by that place and stuff like that... that's scary!"