MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich.*Sep 28, 2005 —*Five years into the 21st century, an 1846 anti-dueling law is being used to prosecute two cousins accused of getting in a knife fight.
"The 1800s are alive and well in Mount Clemens," joked Dean Alan, who heads the Macomb County prosecutor's office warrants division. It issued warrants Tuesday.
Police say the cousins, ages 19 and 31, disagreed Monday over a $30 debt.
The older man brandished a knife and challenged the younger man to fight outside their Mount Clemens home, and the younger man accepted, said Sheriff Mark Hackel. The teen was stabbed in the stomach.
"He could've done any number of things," Hackel said. "He could've called police, he could've fled the area. But he took on the challenge and became part of the problem."
A lawyer specializing in criminal defense said he has never represented anyone charged with dueling but said lawyers for both men could use the same strategy claiming self-defense.
"If it's a mutual fight, it's kind of hard to say it's one guy's fault," said Stephen Rabaut. "And just because you're the injured party, that doesn't mean you were the good guy."