Prosecutor drops charges against Owosso barber who cut hair during pandemic

Karl Manke received overwhelming support from the community after defying Gov. Gretchen...
Karl Manke received overwhelming support from the community after defying Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's orders and opening his doors for business. (WILX)(NBC15)
Published: Oct. 19, 2020 at 4:46 PM EDT
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CORUNNA, Mich. (WILX) - Prosecutors have dropped charges against 78-year old Owosso barber Karl Manke. He is nationally known as the man who defied Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-at-home order and opened his shop for customers on May 4.

Due to his decision, Manke was hit with a cease and desist order, two misdemeanor charges and the suspension of his license. Manke’s license was reinstated in June after a motion from the Michigan Attorney General’s Office. On Friday, the misdemeanor charges were dropped.

Shiawassee County Prosecuting Attorney Scott Koerner said that the charges were dropped based on the Michigan Supreme Court decision earlier this month that ruled against Whitmer.

“Based on that ruling, we didn’t feel the charges could go forward,” Koerner said.

Manke is relieved to no longer be facing a possible criminal record and fines. One of his attorney’s, David Kallman, speaks on the matter.

“Our client’s thrilled and pleased that he’s been vindicated,” said Kallman.

There’s still an open formal complaint on Manke’s license. But, Kallman’s firm has asked that Whitmer and Attorney General Dana Nessel to dismiss it.

WILX will keep you updated on this story as it develops.

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