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Murder Suspect Can Stand Trial
Wednesday Oct 04, 2017 10:02am
Centreville, MI

By: Mike Stiles

(CENTREVILLE) – A Portage man charged with two murders is competent to stand trial.

St. Joseph County District Court officials say 32 year old Zachary Patten had a psychological examination, which found him competent to go to trial. Patten waived his preliminary hearing and will have a status conference sometime in the next 45 days.

Patten is charged with the July 20th murders of 31 year old Gabriela Portillo-Esparza in Kalamazoo and 29 year old Shane Richardson in Florence Township.

The first shooting happened around 9:30 PM when Patten went to the Americana Estates Mobile Home Park to confront an ex-girlfriend's new boyfriend. Police say Esparza stepped between her brother and Patten and was shot. She died at the scene.

Patten then drove to his ex-wife's house on Featherstone Road around
10:15 PM. Patten allegedly forced his way into the house and shot Richardson, his ex-wife's husband, in the neck. Richardson was taken to Three Rivers Health, where he died a short time later.

Patten was arrested the next day in South Bend, when he surrendered to police officers at a supermarket.

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