by Sam Fitzpatrick
Tragedy strikes Dr. Jones
On Sunday, May 16, 1982, Dr. Melvin Culver ‘Casey’
Jones was bludgeoned with a shovel by his gardener, Frederick Lutz, and an accomplice, Joseph Jacobs. The two had criminal
backgrounds, were on probation, and resided at the Bay Fresh Start Rehabilitation Center (located at the Imperial 400 Motor
Inn in downtown Bay City). On the night of the crime, the men broke into Dr. Jones’s residence (1024 Rosemary Lane).
Jones woke up, which caused them to exit the house and watch him through the bedroom window. While waiting for him to go back
to sleep, the men created a plan to knock him out. As Lutz watched, Jacobs snuck back into the house and repeatedly struck
Jones on the head with a shovel. Lutz went through the house looking for items to steal, which included silverware, a bottle
of liquor, a German-made pistol and holster, and Jones’ 1980 Chevrolet Caprice used as a getaway vehicle.
Almost 15 hours later, a friend found Jones unconscious on the bathroom floor. During
the acquittal trial, doctors testified that Jones was taken to Bay Medical Center and was in critical condition for months.
He had two operations on his brain, and almost a third of his brain was removed. Jones was transferred to a Grand Rapids hospital
for physical therapy and eventually returned home with 24-hour nursing care. He was able to function physically but was left
mentally incapacitated for the rest of his life. Dr. Jones passed away on December 9, 1991. He was 80 years old.
Chief David Shepardson, Hampton Township Police, headed
up an eight-member task force consisting of Hampton Township Police, Bay County Sheriff’s Department, the Bay City Michigan
State Police post, and the FBI. Lutz and Jacob were charged with assault with intent to murder, armed robbery, breaking and
entering with intent to commit larceny, and unlawfully driving an auto. The task force tracked the men and found evidence
of the crime across the country. On the night of the crime, Fresh Start Center reported the men missing during a 2 am bed
check. Upon questioning, family and friends revealed that they drove to Bowling Green, Ohio. In Bowling Green, a jeweler informed
police that two men had pawned pieces of silverware. A payment of $308 was paid by check written in Lutz’s name and
cashed across the street. On the street, a witness saw them leave Jones’ car around 10:30 am, which police found illegally
parked with several pieces of silverware on the floor.
continued to Orlando, Florida, where Jacob was hurt during a fight while buying marijuana. He needed medical care, which resulted
in the two parting ways. On May 21, 1982, Jacobs was arrested by the FBI at a Greyhound bus stop in Macon, Georgia. Lutz was
arrested on the same day in Bay City.
Testimonies and Sentencing
Court cases for Lutz and Jacobs occurred in 1982, 1983, and
1989. The testimonies of each suspect blamed the other for the assault on Dr. Jones. It was revealed that they both believed
Jones was dead before they left the scene. On their way to Bowling Green, they stopped in Detroit to dispose of the shovel,
which was never recovered.
In December of 1982, Jacobs was acquitted of assault but
was convicted of auto theft, burglary, and theft. He was sentenced to 22.5 years in prison by Bay County Circuit Judge William
Caprathe. Chief Shepards was quoted in the Bay City Times, “I think that the jury was more sympathetic to a criminal
than they were to a good man and doctor who was brutally beaten and robbed.’” The Michigan Court of Appeals reversed
his sentence sentence due to the lack of attaching a minimum term. After a re-trial, Caprathe re-sentenced him on May 18,
1989, for 15-22.5 years.
In January of 1983, Lutz pleaded guilty, but not before
he changed his story that it was Jacobs who hit Dr. Jones with the shovel. Unconvinced, Judge Caprathe convicted him of assault
with intent to commit murder, along with other lesser charges, and sentenced him to 26-40 years in prison.
In 1999, 8 years after Jones’ death, his art collection was auctioned off to benefit
Studio23/The Art Center’s endowment. A Bay City Times article announcing the event described Jones
as a “’Renaissance man’”, loved journalism and photography before studying medicine, a history buff,
having extensively traveled throughout Asia, Europe, South America, Russia, and the former Yugoslavia amongst other regions.
“Old clinic getting new life.” By Greta Guest. Bay City Times. April 18, 1994.
“Proposal lets Jones Clinic dodge wrecking crew
ball.” By Elizabeth McKenna. Bay City Times. August 27, 1991.
“Designing Men Personal clothier carriers her tastes to men’s wardrobes,
interior decorating.” By Michael K. Nowlin. Bay City Times. June 1, 2001.
“Jones Clinic Left to Founder’s Son”. The Bay City Times Extra.
August 22, 1948.
ARE NEARLY THROUGH ON JONES’ CLINIC.” Bay City Times Tribune. October 28, 1916.
“Modern Clinic is Established here”. Bay
City Times. February 23, 1936.
Stricken”. The Bay City Times Extra. August 10, 1948.
“Bay City man’s legacy to help fund art center”. Bay City Times. April
“Lutz, Jacobs to get long terms”. The Bay City Times. January 24, 1983.
“Lutz plea agreement reached”. The Bay City Times. January 6,
new sentence”. The Bay City Times. May 18, 1989.
“Doctor’s attackers believed to have fled Bowling Green”. The Bay City Times.
May 20, 1982.
Jones brutally beaten, robbed in his home”. The Bay City Times. May 17, 1982.
“Jones, M. Culver, M.D. Essexville, Michigan”. The Bay City Times.
December 17, 1991.
and arts patron dies at 80”. The Bay City Times. December 17, 1991.
“City to buy Jones’ Clinic for $75 from state”. The Bay City
Times. May 21, 1991.
police officials here recall crimes of the decade”. The Bay City Times. December 17, 1989.
“Lutz pleads guilty, says he didn’t hit Dr.
Jones”. The Bay City Times. January 3, 1983.
“Doctor-assault suspect may beat some charges”. The Bay City Times. December
“’Thanks a lot,’
says Jacobs on acquittal”. The Bay City Times. December 4, 1982.
“Jones beating suspect jailed; bond set at $100,000” The Bay City
Times. May 22, 1982.
captured”. The Bay City Times. May 21, 1982.
“Jacobs returned; jailed on $100,000 bond”. The Bay City Times. May 27, 1982.
“Doctor’s state improves;
Jacobs to be returned”. The Bay City Times. May 25, 1982.
“Suspects sell silverware in Ohio”. The Bay City Times. May 19, 1982.
“1 suspect in Jones beating nabbed in Georgia”.
The Bay City Times. May 21, 1982.
“Convicts on work-release suspects in Jones’ assault”. The Bay City Times. May 18, 1982.
The Skydeck https://theskydeck.com/who-invented-the-skyscraper/#:~:text=What%20Was%20The%20First%20Skyscraper,supported%20with%20an%20iron%20frame.
Miller, Hugh C. Publication. The Chicago
School of Architecture: A Plan for Preserving a Significant Remnant of America’s Architectural Heritage. Washington,
District of Columbia: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1973. chicago-school-of-architecture.pdf (npshistory.com)
Ohio Laws and Administrative Rules: Section 4511.38 - Ohio Revised Code | Ohio Laws
D. B. Perry's Drug Store
Perry was born in Grand Blanc, Michigan in 1849. He was a pharmaceutical druggist and businessman in Bay City. In 1880, he
opened D. B. Perry Pharmacy at 704 E. Midland, West Bay City. The store was 25’x100’ and sold “drugs, druggists’
sundries, chemicals and medicinal compounds, extracts, preparation, etc., in addition to choice lines of meerschaum goods
and the most select brands of Havana, Key West and domestic cigars.” (The Industries of the Bay Cities, “D. B.
Perry” 1889, p54). In 1905, Perry married Eff M. (Manning) and they had a home on Linn Street. Perry was well respected
by the community. He mentored many of the city’s young people who were interested in entering the business world.
He died in 1913 from toxemia. During his funeral, businesses on the west side downtown district closed their stores
and local druggists acted as pallbearers. Although his drug store closed in 1914, a new drug store was started by W. P. Lourim
in the same location.
D. B. Perry’s Drug store is highlighted
in the temporary exhibit: WINDOW SHOPPING IN OLD BAY CITY. This exhibit highlights local businesses in
Bay City during the Victorian Era. Browse the store front windows to learn about the businesses and the
products that were sold. Watch a silent film from the era in the theater. Have fun dressing
up at the selfie station. The exhibit will be open from November 13, 2023 to April 5, 2024,
Museum Hours: Monday - Friday from 10 AM - 4 PM. *The
museum is closed for holidays.
Bay City Daily Tribune, “Drugs”
– April 2, 1914: 5
Bay City Daily Tribune, “Will Close Shop During Funeral” – June 20, 1913: 4
Bay City Daily Tribune, “Prominent West Side Merchant Dies Wednesday”
– June 19, 1913: 5
Bay City Times Tribune, “Xmas Candy and Cigars” - December 18, 1908: 8
The Industries of the Bay Cities, “D.B. Perry” – 1889: