Family Supports Father; Armed Robbery Suspect - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Family Supports Father; Armed Robbery Suspect

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(WLNS) - After putting one neighborhood on lockdown and threatening to detonate an explosive device in a medical facility, 68-year old Gary Peterson faced a judge today.

He now will stand on two charges: armed robbery and making a false bomb threat.

Both are felonies though and armed robbery has a maximum sentence of life in prison.

We've heard from family and friends that Gary Peterson is extremely ill and wasn't in his right state of mind when he allegedly committed those crimes.

Friday via videoconference the few of us in that courtroom saw a man who looked defeated.

He did cough a few times; often he put his head down.

His family members became very emotional in the courtroom.

I spoke with his son Jeremy after the arraignment.

His fear is his father could die any day now in prison.  Jeremy wants his father to get medical treatment. The family realizes his actions were wrong but says he was off his meds for a month.  In his right state of mind he would never commit those crimes.

He said, "The big old guy used to pick me up and carry me on his shoulders and now I can pick him up.  I don't even know how he got out of the house, took everything he had to get there. I don't know what he was thinking. He wasn't there, it's not my dad. He'd never hurt anybody."

Jeremy says the device his father had strapped to his chest when he walked into Mid-Michigan Physicians was Play-Dough and said many of the employees knew his father by name.

He says this is all a very unfortunate situation.  Gary Peterson is being held in the Ingham County Jail on $150,000 bond.

 More from 6 News: Friend Of Suspect in Bomb Threat Shares Story Of Illness



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