Wirgau hearing delayed over new information

News Photo by Julie Riddle Josh Wirgau, on screen, observes as attorney Rick Steiger asks for the delay of a court hearing in Alpena’s 88th District Court.

ALPENA — Josh Wirgau, accused of holding a man at gunpoint to demand a ride last month in Alpena Township, agreed to delay a scheduled court hearing on Tuesday to discuss new information with his attorney.

Wirgau’s attorney, Rick Steiger, would not say what new information he wishes to discuss with his client.

Wirgau owns the Alpena Township property where police last month found the body of missing Alpena teen Brynn Bills, but the unlawful imprisonment and weapons charges Wirgau faces are unrelated to Bills’ death, according to police.

Police say Wirgau was joined in the alleged unlawful imprisonment by Abby Hill, another Alpena woman whom police found dead last week.

Steiger would not say if police have questioned Wirgau about the death of Bills or Hill.

Police say Hill and another man, Brad Srebnik, were with Wirgau when he held a gun to a man’s head and demanded a ride on Sept. 21.

Wirgau and Srebnik face unlawful imprisonment and weapons charges related to that alleged incident. A prosecutor authorized similar charges for Hill on Sept. 30.

Alpena County Prosecutor Cynthia Muszynski would not speculate on whether she anticipates additional charges for either man.

Police have not declared Bills’ death a homicide, pending the results of an autopsy. Police have not yet received results of an autopsy on Hill performed on Sunday, police said.

Wirgau’s next court appearance will be in two weeks, when Srebnik is also scheduled to appear in court.

Steiger said a delay would also promote “judicial economy,” given the forthcoming retirement of Judge Thomas LaCross, who ends his tenure in the 88th District Court next week. Changing judges mid-case could cause unnecessary repetition and slow the case’s progress through the courts, LaCross agreed.

The court did not clarify whether Alan Curtis, chosen last week by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to replace LaCross on the bench, will preside over Wirgau’s next court appearance, on Nov. 2.


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