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Michigan Man Allegedly Murdered Son After Victim Taunted ‘Why Don’t You Just Shoot Me?’ During an Argument

Darrell Dakan arraignment

Screengrab via YouTube/Newaygo County District Court

A Michigan man is charged with murder after allegedly shooting and killing his son following an argument outside the man’s home.

Darrell Dakan, 69, is accused of killing his son Joshua Dakan, 38 on Tuesday. According to prosecutors, the shooting happened as father and son were arguing outside a home. At some point, the suspect allegedly went back into the trailer where he lived and came back out with a gun.

“A witness indicated that the victim said ‘Why don’t you just shoot me?'” prosecuting attorney Worth Stay said at Dakan’s arraignment Wednesday, which was held on Zoom. “The defendant attempted one time to shoot him. It was either not loaded, or it was a misfire. He then fired his .22 rifle at his son, hitting him in the back area, which pierced his heart and lung, killing him.”

In addition to murder, Dakan is also charged with possessing a weapon during the commission of a felony or attempted felony.

Dakan’s arraignment attorney Dianne Longoria briefly argued that her client should be released pending trial, citing multiple health issues.

“He does have a lot of health problems. He has injections that he gets into his eyes because he has a condition that could cause him to go blind into his eyes,” Longoria said, noting that Dakan has an injection scheduled for Jan. 4. “He also has degenerative problems, and he has back problems as a result of that degenerative disease. He also indicated he has some heart issues, a heart murmur,” she added.

Longoria also implied that Dakan’s son may have been the aggressor.

“There is quite a history,” she said. “Police have been called several times where the alleged victim in this case has been aggressive toward Mr. Dakan, so we would ask for bond to be considered.”

Stay, the prosecutor, pushed back, saying that Dakan could not be relied upon to appear for his next hearing, and that he is potentially a danger to the community.

“He does have a prior drunk driving [allegation],” Stay said. “Alcohol is fairly prominent in his life. That either causes this anger or causes other problems […] we believe the defendant has an unchecked substance abuse problem.”

In the end, Newaygo County District Judge H. Kevin Drake upheld a magistrate judge’s prior denial of pretrial release, and appointed a public defender to represent him.

Joshua had recently moved on to the property with is father, according to a report by local NBC affiliate WOOD.

“According to court records, Joshua Dakan arrived home shortly after 7 p.m. Monday,” WOOD reported. “He was sitting in the passenger seat of his friend’s car when his father came out. He angrily accused his son of leaving a cable stretched across his driveway, which damaged his pickup truck.”

The argument escalated from there, WOOD reported.

After being shot, Joshua Dakan continued to fight with his father before collapsing, the WOOD report said.

Dakan’s murder and weapons charges are a significant escalation from his previous and ongoing legal problems, which were settled ahead of his arraignment Wednesday.

Dakan pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of a hit-and-run and unlawful use of a license plate in connection with an October accident. Drake sentenced Dakan to time served and dismissed the more serious charge of failing to report a hit-and-run.

Dakan said that he was injured in that accident.

“All I can say is quite frankly I did not see the vehicle in front of me,” Dakan said. “It wasn’t negligence on my part, and I hit my head severely and I know I had a severe concussion after the accident.”

Dakan’s next hearing is set for Jan. 6.

You can watch a recording of Dakan’s arraignment here.

[Image via Newaygo County District Court.]

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