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Windsor Twp. suspect Daniel Sougstad charged with killing his parents and brother, pleads not guilty

Daniel James Sougstad
Posted at 10:41 AM, Sep 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-27 20:28:55-04

LANSING, Mich. — Daniel Sougstad has been charged with killing his parents, John and Barbara Sougstad, and his brother, Ryan Sougstad, at the family home in Windsor Township on Friday.

Daniel Sougstad, 23, was arrested Saturday and arraigned Monday afternoon in Eaton County Circuit Court in front of Judge Julie O'Neill. He pleaded not guilty to three counts of open murder and to three counts of felony firearm.

O'Neill ordered him held without bond.

Deputies with the Eaton County were dispatched to a residence in the 10000 block of Bishop Highway on Friday night on an unknown 911 call. Soon afterward they received a call from a neighbor who said a child arrived on foot at a nearby house and had an injury to her foot.

The neighbor told dispatchers they heard screaming and shots from next door, the release said.

When the sheriff’s deputies arrived to the home of the original 911 call, they found three adults who all appeared to have been shot.

Neighbor Toni Salazar said her daughter went to school with Ryan and describes the neighborhood as quiet.

But when she heard the news,“it really didn’t sink in that night like immediately our neighbors came down with their golf cart and everybody gathered out and one was listening to the scanner trying to get updates and we were all trying to piece it together. It didn’t hit me until the next morning what really happened,” Salazar said.

Sougstad was arrested without incident by neighboring police agencies in Ingham County.

John Sougstad was the assistant director of special education and clinical supervisor of psychological services at the Jackson County Intermediate School District, according to his LinkedIn page. He was also a clinical assistant professor in the School of Social Work at Michigan State University.

Kaci Babineau the spokesperson for Jackson County intermediate school district said John worked there for ten years and describes him as a gentle leader.

“John’s death is a huge loss to the Jackson County ISD," Babineau said. "He was our assistant director of special education so he touched a lot of people’s lives in a lot of different spaces around the country and around mid-Michigan really.”

Babineau said they're an organization of almost 600 people and two thirds of the organization knew John Sougstad well and that Jackson County ISD did have resources and services on Monday for their employees.

A probable cause conference is scheduled for October 4 at 9:15 and a preliminary examination for October 8 at 2:00.

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