CORUNNA — An Ovid man who in August allegedly doused himself with lighter fluid and threatened to kill a woman in Durand has been ordered to undergo a competency exam to determine whether he is competent to stand trial.
Donald Lee Kissner, 39, was charged in September with felony attempted murder and two counts of attempted arson. All three charges carry a habitual offender-fourth notice enhancement due to prior felony convictions. A conviction as a habitual offender (fourth notice) requires a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years.
Kissner previously was convicted and served time for burning down the Michigan State Police post at Bennington Road and M-52.
According to online district court records, Judge Ward Clarkson signed an order Sept. 15 referring Kissner to the Michigan Center for Forensic Psychiatry. Kissner’s attorney Steven Ellis said Wednesday that the examination could take place at the jail or at the psychiatric center, but he is unsure when it will take place due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The alleged victim said she was in Durand Aug. 26 where she was doing laundry at a relative’s residence when Kissner assaulted her. The Argus-Press is not identifying the alleged victim.
She said Kissner came running out of a residence naked and screaming, then doused himself in lighter fluid and told her she was “going to die.” The victim then got into her car and fled.
Kissner was convicted of arson in 2004 for burning down the Owosso Michigan State Police post in April 2002. The post was located in the Flynn Building, which housed several other businesses. Within days of the blaze, police said it was “suspicious,” before ruling it an arson.
He was charged more than a year later. He was convicted and sentenced by then-35th Circuit Court Judge Gerald Lostracco in September 2004 to the maximum term — 12 to 20 years in prison — and was ordered to pay $335,940.86 in restitution.
At Kissner’s sentencing, then-Shiawassee County Prosecutor Randy Colbry called the arson “an act of terrorism.”
Kissner appealed the sentence, which was reduced to a minimum of 11 years. He was eventually granted parole in 2018. Circuit court records indicate Kissner still owes more than $340,000 in restitution for the case.
At the time of the arson conviction in 2004, Kissner was already serving a prison sentence for unrelated charges of breaking and entering, and unlawful use of an automobile.
Kissner has numerous other felony convictions dating back to 2000, including breaking and entering, tampering with evidence, and attempted obstruction of justice. The evidence tampering and obstruction of justice charges were the result of Kissner attempting to destroy evidence in the breaking and entering case by burning down the MSP post.
Michigan Department of Corrections online records indicate Kissner is still on parole.