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Ex-student pleads guilty of murder

Meghan Thomassen | Sunday, August 25, 2013

Former Notre Dame honors student Patrick Mikes Jr., 22, will be sentenced Sept. 10 at 11 a.m. after pleading guilty but mentally ill to the second-degree murder of his father, Patrick Mikes Sr.

Oakland County, Mich. Prosecutor Jessica Cooper said the judge accepted Mikes’ plea Aug. 6 when the defense presented documentation of his mental illness.
“In terms of forensic evidence, there was nothing new,” Cooper said. “[The defense] had the opportunity to evaluate [its plea] because of a pending procedural appeal that slowed the case down.”

Mikes initially pleaded not guilty to the open murder charge, which meant the jury would decide if the crime was first- or second-degree murder, Cooper said. His current plea of guilty but mentally ill means he will receive mental health treatment while in prison.

Mikes’ attorney, Christopher Andreoff, told local reporters Mikes was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2008.

“He will serve his sentence in prison because his mental illness did not rise to Michigan’s legal definition of insanity,” Cooper said. “This is a much more humane way  f treating him, since he will receive his medication, which he apparently [hadn’t] been receiving.”

Cooper said Michigan’s indeterminate sentencing structure dictates that Mikes won’t be eligible for parole until he has served his minimum sentence, which the judge will decide.

“We trust that the criminal justice system has addressed this in a manner that is best for all concerned and that we continue to keep the Mikes family in prayer,” University spokesman Dennis Brown said. “[Mikes Jr.] was no longer a student as of about a year ago, so we have just monitored the criminal process.”

Mikes Jr. and his younger brother reported their father missing July 29, 2012, during the summer before what would have been Mikes Jr.’s senior year at Notre Dame, according to a press release from the Troy, Mich. Police Department. The brothers told police they had last seen their father in the morning two days earlier, leaving for a bike ride.

Capt. Robert Redmond of the Troy Police Department told reporters DNA recovered from the Mikes family’s basement prompted officers to arrest Mikes Jr. and to acknowledge the case as a murder investigation.

Redmond said the nearly two-week search for a body ended Aug. 8, when a search team recovered Mikes Sr.’s remains from a cornfield in Oakland County.

Autopsy results determined the cause of death to be blunt force trauma to the head, Redmond said.

Mikes Sr. was a 1979 alumnus of Notre Dame.

Contact Meghan Thomassen at [email protected]