Many trial watchers in Michigan and across the country are following the case of a 23-year-old man who is accused of lying to federal agents by claiming to be Timmothy Pitzen. Pitzen vanished in 2011 and would now be 14 years old. If convicted of the felony level accusations, the accused man could be sentenced to serve a prison term in a federal penitentiary of up to eight years.
Reportedly, the man heard about the case of a young boy who went missing eight years ago and then presented himself to federal agents as the missing boy. He appeared battered and claimed to have been held captive by two men for years. Police took the man to a hospital for a medical evaluation of his injuries.
Authorities say the man refused to have his fingerprints taken, but consented to DNA testing later. At that time it was determined that the man was not Timmothy Pitzen, but a 23-year-old man with multiple outstanding warrants for his arrests. After the initial hearing, the man was held without bond because he was deemed to have several mental issues, no identifiable address, and the judge believed him to be a flight risk.
Federal felony charges are big deal and can alter the life of the accused individual. In Michigan and elsewhere, those facing these circumstances will want to rely upon an attorney with experience in handling these types of criminal proceedings. The federal system is different than state level proceedings, and convictions often result in significant prison sentences. As with state prosecutions, however, each defendant has the opportunity to contest the formal accusations and seek a resolution in his or her own best interest.