Advance Notice: Briefs

Muskegon Co. man charged after making gun threats against state officials during court proceedings 

By: - April 14, 2023 10:56 am

Peter Dazeley/Getty Images

A West Michigan man has been charged with threatening to use a gun against state government officials.

Daniel Callahan, 59, of Fruitport, in Muskegon County, was arraigned April 6 in 61st District Court on charges of false report or threat of terrorism and using a computer to commit a crime. 

Dana Nessel | Ken Coleman

The counts, which were filed by Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s Hate Crimes and Domestic Terrorism Unit, are felonies punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

“These are serious charges based on serious threats. Anyone who threatens or tries to intimidate government officials or public bodies will be held accountable,” Nessel said. “My office will continue to respond to these types of threats wherever they occur.”

The charges against Callahan stem from comments he allegedly made during oral arguments in another case. On Feb. 15, while appearing before the Michigan Court of Appeals 3rd District Court in Grand Rapids, officials say Callahan expressed frustration with the government by asking on the record, “What is it going to take, somebody to get shot before the State acts on it?”

Callahan then allegedly filed a pleading in the same case eight days later, stating that if the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court did not act “lawfully,” and grant his requested relief, they and other entities would earn a “future Performance Award for MSU Stage Act 2, West Michigan 2023.”

Court employees said they understood his pleading to be a threat to commit a mass shooting similar to the one that had occurred at Michigan State University on Feb. 13.

According to a press release from the AG’s office, Callahan expressed a grievance towards both the Department of Attorney General and Nessel specifically in subsequent pleadings, referencing the AG by name multiple times and calling for her to be removed from office and prosecuted.

After the charges were filed, Callahan turned himself in at the 61st District Court on a $500,000 bond with a GPS tether.

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Jon King
Jon King

Jon King has been a journalist for more than 35 years. He is the Past President of the Michigan Associated Press Media Editors Association and has been recognized for excellence numerous times, most recently in 2021 with the Best Investigative Story by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters. He is also an adjunct faculty member at Cleary University. Jon and his family live in Howell, where he also serves on the Board of Directors for the Livingston Diversity Council.