Monday, August 10, 2009

MSP Melvin Paul Holbrook - Murdered

MICHIGAN STATE POLICE SERGEANT MELVIN "PAUL' HOLBROOK [TRAVERSE CITY], MURDERED AUGUST 10, 2009. JONI HOLBROOK [WIFE] CHARGED WITH OPEN MURDER.






See Also:

http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2009/08/chad-dilts-holbrook-murder-case.html

http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2009/08/sergeant-melvin-holbrook-murder-case.html

http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2009/08/msp-sergeant-melvin-paul-holbrook.html

http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2009/08/in-memory-of-sergeant-melvin-paul.html

http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/1987/07/starr-ann-holbrook-wife-of-melvin.html









State police join Holbrook investigation
Traverse City Record
Published: August 17, 2009 10:00 pm
BY BRIAN MCGILLIVARY
bmcgillivary@record-eagle.com
http://www.record-eagle.com/local/local_story_229220015.html

BEULAH -- Michigan State Police have joined an investigation into the slaying of a local state police sergeant, and the suspect's attorney questioned whether that step is a conflict of interest.

Joni K. Holbrook, 47, is charged with an open count of murder in the shooting death of her husband of 10 years, Melvin "Paul" Holbrook, 53, a sergeant assigned to the state police Traverse City post. Her attorney, Jesse Williams, of Traverse City, called the state police's role a conflict.

Two people who lived near the Holbrooks last week told the Record-Eagle that Joni Holbrook told them her husband physically abused her in 2008. Williams said the shooting may be a case of self defense.

"There is an inherent flaw with the Michigan State Police investigating this case because of the circumstances that surround it," Williams said.

Holbrook was shot early Aug. 10 in his home on Derby Lane in Benzie County's Homestead Township. Williams alleged Melvin Holbrook "tortured" and physically and sexually abused his wife, though Joni Holbrook showed no apparent signs of physical abuse at her arraignment.

Inspector Russell Smith, of the state police Seventh District headquarters, declined to comment on his agency's involvement. He referred all questions to Benzie County Prosecutor John Daugherty, who won election to that office last fall.

A business and real estate attorney, Daugherty is directing investigators from the Benzie County Sheriff's Department and state police.

He rejected Williams' conflict allegations.

"The decedent, Mr. Holbrook, hasn't been charged, his wife has been charged," Daugherty said.

Daugherty declined to answer questions about case developments.

A preliminary hearing to determine if enough evidence exists to bind Joni Holbrook over for trial is scheduled for Aug. 24 at 1 p.m. in 85th District Court.

Daugherty previously said Joni Holbrook called Benzie County 911 at about 1:10 a.m. and said she shot her husband. She allegedly made a similar statement to police later that morning, but Daugherty declined to release the statements.

Also present in the house at the time of the shooting was Chad C. Dilts, 24, Joni Holbrook's son from a previous marriage. Police have not said what Dilts may have witnessed at the time of the shooting.

Daugherty has not commented on a possible motive.

Benzie County Sheriff Rory Heckman said last week deputies would interview neighbors amid the abuse allegations. On Monday, Heckman said he didn't know if those interviews took place and declined to answer any other questions. Heckman said Daugherty told him not to discuss the investigation.

"I have to do what the chief law enforcement officer of the county tells me to do," Heckman said.











State Police Troopers in Traverse City Mourn Loss of Sgt. Holbrook
Posted: 8/10/2009
9 and 10 News

 http://www.9and10news.com/category/story/?id=163529

The news of Sergeant Melvin "Paul" Holbrook's death hit hard at the Michigan State Police Post in Traverse City where Holbrook worked for much of his 23-year career.

Holbrook was a shift supervisor and a fraud investigator at the Traverse City post. He joined the Michigan State Police in April of 1986.

9&10's Kalee Iacoangeli and photojournalist Jordan Nagel spoke with the post commander about how the Troopers will remember Sergeant Holbrook.


 























10:46 am: Police sergeant killed in Benzie
Traverse City Record
August 10, 2009
BY ART BUKOWSKI 
http://www.record-eagle.com/local/local_story_222104548.html


BEULAH — A Michigan State Police sergeant was killed in Benzie County.

Melvin Paul Holbrook, 53, was found dead early Monday on Derby Lane in Homestead Township. State police were processing the scene this morning, according to a release from the Benzie County Sheriff's Department.

The release said deputies were called to Derby Lane shortly after 1 a.m. Monday on a report of an assault. A 53-year-old male was found dead at the scene, and police arrested a suspect.

Lt. Bill Elliott of the Traverse City post confirmed the victim was Holbrook, but wouldn't provide details. Benzie sheriff's officials couldn't be immediately reached for comment.

Holbrook was a 23-year state police veteran, Elliott said. He worked at the Traverse City post.











Update: Police Arrest Woman for Benzie County Murder
Posted: 8/10/2009
http://www.fox33.com/category/story/?id=163450

Police are at the scene of a murder in Benzie County.

Officers tell Northern Michigan's News Leader they arrested Joni Holbrook for shooting her husband, Michigan State Police Sergeant Melvin P. Holbrook in his sleep.

The murder happened at a home on Derby Lane in Homestead Township just after 1:00 am.

We have a crew at the courthouse, and will bring you continuing coverage tonight on Fox 32 News at Seven and Ten.

Joni Holbrook's mugshot, following her arrest for the murder of her husband, MSP Sergeant Melvin Holbrook.







Sgt. Melvin Paul Holbrook was found dead Monday morning in Homestead Township.
Monday, August 10, 2009 at 11:52 a.m.
ConnectMidMichigan

 http://www.connectmidmichigan.com/news/news_story.aspx?id=335140

BENZIE COUNTY -- A sergeant with the Michigan State Police was found dead in Benzie County early Monday.

Sergeant Melvin Paul Holbrook's body was found in Homestead Township.

According to a press release, shortly after 1 a.m., police were called to the scene for a report of an assault on Derby Lane, where a 53-year-old male was found dead.

It was later confirmed that Holbrook was the victim.

It has also been confirmed that his wife has been arrested as a suspect and charged with open murder.

Holbrook was a 23-year State Police veteran at the Traverse City Post.

Few details are available at this time, but check back often to UpNorthLive.com and your TV7&4 Newscasts for the very latest.















12:25 pm: Wife charged in death of policeman Traverse City Record
August 10, 2009

http://www.record-eagle.com/local/local_story_222122548.html

BEULAH — The wife of a State Police sergeant is jailed on an open murder charge after authorities found him dead at his home early Monday.

Joni K. Holbrook, 47, was arraigned on the charge Monday morning in front of Judge Brent Danielson, who ordered her held without bond. Her husband, Melvin Paul Holbrook, 53, was found dead early Monday at their home on Derby Lane in Homestead Township.

Benzie County Prosecutor John B. Daugherty said the woman called 911 shortly after 1 a.m. Monday and told police she'd shot her husband. Upon their arrival, officers found Holbrook dead lying in his bed, the prosecutor said.

Holbrook was a 23-year state police veteran, State Police Lt. Bill Elliott said. He worked at the Traverse City post.

JONI HOLBROOK AT HER ARRAIGNMENT IN THE SHOOTING DEATH OF HER HUSBAND, MSP SERGEANT MELVIN HOLBROOK. JONI HOLBROOK HAS BEEN CHARGED WITH OPEN MURDER.







12:30 pm Update: Police Arrest Woman for Benzie County Murder
Posted: 8/10/2009
9 & 10 News

 http://www.9and10news.com/category/story/?id=163419

Police are at the scene of a murder in Benzie County.

Officers tell Northern Michigan's News Leader they arrested Joni Holbrook for shooting her husband, Michigan State Police Sergeant Melvin P. Holbrook in his sleep.

The murder happened at a home on Derby Lane in Homestead Township just after 1:00 am.

We have a crew at the courthouse, and will bring you continuing coverage tonight on 9 and 10 News at 5:00 and 6:00.














Michigan State Police officer's wife charged with his murder
Associated Press Monday, August 10, 2009
Detroit News

 http://www.detnews.com/article/20090810/METRO/908100387/1361/Michigan-State-Police-officer-s-wife-charged-with-his-murder

Beulah -- The wife of a Michigan State Police sergeant has been charged in his death.

The Traverse City Record-Eagle reports 47-year-old Joni Holbrook was arraigned Monday in Benzie County District Court on an open-murder charge.

Her husband, 53-year-old Melvin Paul Holbrook, was found dead early Monday at their home in Homestead Township, about 20 miles west-southwest of Traverse City.













MSP officer found dead, wife charged with murder
 Associated Press –
August 10, 2009 1:54 PM ET
FOX28- South Bend, IN
http://www.fox28.com/Global/story.asp?S=10878023

BEULAH, Mich. (AP) - The wife of a Michigan State Police sergeant has been charged in his death.

The Traverse City Record-Eagle reports 47-year-old Joni Holbrook was arraigned Monday in Benzie County District Court on an open-murder charge.

Her husband, 53-year-old Melvin Paul Holbrook, was found dead early Monday at their home in Homestead Township, about 20 miles west-southwest of Traverse City.

Benzie County Prosecutor John Daugherty says she called 911 shortly after 1 a.m. and said she'd shot her husband.

Michigan State Police Lt. Bill Elliott says Melvin Holbrook was a 23-year police veteran assigned to the Traverse City post.

Jim Amberg, an attorney for Joni Holbrook, declined to comment on the case.

Information from: Traverse City Record-Eagle, http://www.record-eagle.com/






Sergeant Melvin Holbrook was found dead in his home on August 10, 2009. His wife, Joni Holbrook admitted to police that she had shot Melvin.





 





MSP sergeant shot to death by wife Calls 911, says she shot him 
WOOD TV8
Updated: Monday, 10 Aug 2009, 2:38 PM EDT
Published : Monday, 10 Aug 2009, 2:37 PM EDT
http://www.woodtv.com/dpp/news/local/nw_mich/MSP_sergeant_shot_to_death_by_wife

BEULAH, Mich. (AP) - The wife of a Michigan State Police sergeant has been charged in his death.

The Traverse City Record-Eagle reports 47-year-old Joni Holbrook was arraigned Monday in Benzie County District Court on an open-murder charge.

Her husband, 53-year-old Melvin Paul Holbrook, was found dead early Monday at their home in Homestead Township, about 20 miles west-southwest of Traverse City.

Benzie County Prosecutor John Daugherty says she called 911 shortly after 1 a.m. and said she'd shot her husband.

Michigan State Police Lt. Bill Elliott says Melvin Holbrook was a 23-year police veteran assigned to the Traverse City post.

Jim Amberg, an attorney for Joni Holbrook, declined to comment on the case.



 








Traverse City State Police officer found dead, wife charged with murder by The Associated Press
MLive
Monday August 10, 2009, 3:17 PM
http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2009/08/michigan_state_police_officer.html

BEULAH -- The wife of a Michigan State Police sergeant has been charged in his death.

The Traverse City Record-Eagle reports 47-year-old Joni Holbrook was arraigned Monday in Benzie County District Court on an open-murder charge.

Her husband, 53-year-old Melvin Paul Holbrook, was found dead early Monday at their home in Homestead Township, about 20 miles west-southwest of Traverse City.

Benzie County Prosecutor John Daugherty says she called 911 shortly after 1 a.m. and said she'd shot her husband.

Michigan State Police Lt. Bill Elliott says Melvin Holbrook was a 23-year police veteran assigned to the Traverse City post.

Jim Amberg, an attorney for Joni Holbrook, declined to comment on the case



















MSP officer found dead, wife charged with murder
Posted: 8/10/2009
9 and 10 News

 http://www.9and10news.com/category/story/?id=163532

Tonight police are still unsure what happened in a Benzie County home that left a Michigan State Police sergeant dead.

Benzie County deputies say they found Sergeant Melvin Holbrook dead in his bedroom early this morning.

Holbrook was a desk sergeant with the Michigan State Police in Traverse City.

Police say Holbrook's wife, Joni Holbrook, called 911 shortly after 1:00am today.

They arrested her upon arrival at couple's home on Derby Lane in Homestead Township.

Today a judge charged Joni Holbrook with open murder.

The county prosecutor says she admitted on a 911 recording that she shot her husband while he slept.

Police say Joni's 24 year old son was home at the time but did not witness the shooting.

They say it's too early to tell what happened that could've triggered the murder.

Police are waiting on autopsy results to confirm the cause of death, and forensic experts are processing evidence taken from the scene.
9 and 10's Erika Waddell and photojournalist Stephanie Adkins have the story.








Wife Charged With Killing MSP Officer
Melvin Holbrook Found Dead Early Monday
POSTED: 5:10 pm EDT August 10, 2009
UPDATED: 6:11 pm EDT August 10, 2009
 http://www.wnem.com/news/20348670/detail.html

BEULAH, Mich. -- The wife of a Michigan State Police sergeant has been charged in his death.
The Traverse City Record-Eagle reported 47-year-old Joni Holbrook was arraigned Monday in Benzie County District Court on an open-murder charge.

Her husband, 53-year-old Melvin Paul Holbrook, was found dead early Monday at their home in Homestead Township, about 20 miles west-southwest of Traverse City.

Benzie County Prosecutor John Daugherty said she called 911 shortly after 1 a.m. and said she'd shot her husband.

Michigan State Police Lt. Bill Elliott said Melvin Holbrook was a 23-year police veteran assigned to the Traverse City post.

Jim Amberg, an attorney for Joni Holbrook, declined to comment on the case.










MSP sergeant found dead in home
UP North Live News
Monday, August 10, 2009 at 6:43 p.m.
By Melissa Smith
 
http://www.upnorthlive.com/news/news_story.aspx?id=335381

Benzie County deputies received a call a little after 1 a.m. Monday from the police sergeant's wife. She told them that she shot her husband, Melvin Holbrook who is a sergeant with the Michigan State Police Traverse City Post.

HOMESTEAD TOWNSHIP -- Benzie County deputies were alerted to a home on Derby Lane in Homestead Township just after 1 a.m. Monday. Homeowner, Joni Holbrook told central dispatchers that she shot her husband, Melvin Holbrook, a sergeant at the Michigan State Police Traverse City Post.

"What did she say to 911 dispatch?" asks 7 and 4 News.

"They were advised there had been an assault, not in those specific words but needed to get deputies there and three deputies responded immediately," says Benzie County Sheriff, Rory Heckman.

Deputies say when they arrived they found that Sergeant Holbrook had been shot dead in his bed. His wife again admitted to shooting her husband.

"She was calm and advised what had occurred...We don't know at this time what lead up to the incident. That is still being investigated by deputies," says Sheriff Heckman.

Joni Holbrook was then arrested and taken into custody. She was arraigned later Monday morning on an open charge of murder without bond.

"She's been charged with a crime. The next thing, she'll have an attorney appointed to her or retained and the next thing will be a prelim to determine the obvious questions of whether there was probable cause to believe she committed this crime," says Sheriff Heckman.

Meanwhile, Sheriff Heckman says they're not releasing any information on a possible motive for the crime.

"We've recovered some evidence. The crime lab from Graying state police post came down and evidence was collected and it will be examined by forensic scientists," says Sheriff Heckman.

Sergeant Holbrook's body was taken to Spectrum Healthcare in Grand Rapids for an autopsy. Pending those results, Sheriff Heckman says they will be able to determine the exact cause of death.















Trooper Shot, Wife Arraigned For Open Murder
Interlochen Public Radio
August 10, 2009
By Linda Stephan

http://ipr.interlochen.org/ipr-news-features/episode/3735

A Michigan State Police Sergeant from Benzie County is dead. His wife has been arraigned on a charge of open murder.

 

53-year-old Melvin Holbrook was known by his middle name, Paul.

Benzie County Sheriff Rory Heckman says deputies found the state trooper dead when they arrived at the Homestead Township home shortly after one o'clock this morning. He had been shot.

 

Heckman says this is the first time the Benzie County Sheriff's Department has ever been called to the house.

 

He says deputies responded after the state trooper's wife, Joni Holbrook, called 911, and allegedly told dispatch she had shot her husband.

 

She was arraigned later in the morning, and jailed, without bond.














MSP Officer Found dead, Wife Charged August 10, 2009
WSGW- AM radio

 http://wsgw.com/MSP-Officer-Found-dead--Wife-Charged/4977981

 

The wife of a Michigan State Police sergeant has been charged in his death.

Fourty-seven-year-old Joni Holbrook was arraigned Monday in Benzie County District Court on an open-murder charge.

Her husband, 53-year-old Melvin Paul Holbrook, was found dead early Monday at their home in Homestead Township, about 20 miles west-southwest of Traverse City. Benzie County Prosecutor John Daugherty says she called 911 shortly after 1 a.m. and said she'd shot her husband.

Michigan State Police Lt. Bill Elliott says Melvin Holbrook was a 23-year police veteran assigned to the Traverse City post.















State Police sergeant killed by wife Wife told police, dispatchers she'd shot husband WOODTV-8
Updated: Tuesday, 11 Aug 2009, 3:14 AM EDT
Published : Tuesday, 11 Aug 2009, 3:11 AM EDT
http://www.woodtv.com/dpp/news/michigan/state_police_sergeant_killed_by_wife


NEAR TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (WOOD) - A Michigan State Police Sergeant is dead after being shot and killed by his wife.

Joni Holbrook - the wife of Sergeant Melvin Holbrook - was the one who called 911, and told dispatchers she had just shot her husband.

When Benzie County deputies arrived at the Holbrook home near Traverse City just after 1 a.m. Monday morning, they found Sergeant Melvin Holbrook dead in his bed.

Police say that during initial questioning, Joni Holbrook again admitted to killing her husband.

"She was calm and advised what had occurred," Benzie County Sheriff Rory Heckman said. "We don't know at this time what lead up to the incident. That is still being investigated by deputies."

Joni Holbrook was arrested and taken into custody. She was arraigned later Monday morning on a charge of open murder, and is being held without bond.

Right now, the sheriff is not releasing any details on a possible motive.

Troopers at the Traverse City post say Holbrook was an energetic leader that was actively involved in the community.

Information courtesy WPBN, Traverse City





 





Questions build in trooper's death No motive known; neighbors allege abuseTraverse City Record Eagle
BY ART BUKOWSKI AND BRIAN MCGILLIVARY
Record-Eagle staff writers
Published: August 11, 2009 06:50 am
http://www.record-eagle.com/local/local_story_223065021.html


BEULAH -- Questions abound in the death of a Michigan State Police sergeant whose wife told authorities she shot him in their Benzie County residence.

Benzie Sheriff's deputies found Melvin P. Holbrook, 53, dead in his home on Derby Lane shortly after 1 a.m. Monday. Holbrook, 53, served since 2002 as a desk sergeant at the state police post in Traverse City.

Police arrested his wife of ten years, Joni K. Holbrook, 47. She was arraigned Monday morning on an open count of murder in front of Benzie District Judge Brent Danielson and is being held without bail.

Joni Holbrook called Benzie County 911 at about 1:10 a.m. and said she shot her husband, Benzie County Prosecutor John B. Daugherty said. Daugherty said during her arraignment that Holbrook allegedly admitted to shooting her husband as he slept.

Deputies went to the residence and were met by Joni Holbrook. They found Melvin Holbrook dead from apparent gunshot wounds in a bedroom.

Benzie Sheriff Rory Heckman said it would be "premature" to provide details of Joni Holbrook's statements to police. He also wouldn't identify the firearm involved.

It's not clear what happened in the hours before the shooting, Heckman said.

"We don't know at this time what led up to the incident; that is still being investigated by deputies," he said.

Holbrook's defense attorney is Jesse L. Williams, of Traverse City.

"She has certainly endured an enormous amount of hardships that no one should have to endure and when the time is right and appropriate we will comment on those hardships," Williams said.

Neighbors of the Holbrooks said the couple had a stormy relationship and that they witnessed signs of physical abuse. Brooke Baker, a daughter of neighbor Barbara Johnson who lived for about three years on Derby Road near the Holbrooks, said Joni Holbrook appeared at Johnson's home last fall and said her husband had just beaten her.

"I asked, 'Why don't you call the cops?'" Baker said. "(Joni) said 'He is the police.'"

Johnson, who moved from the neighborhood July 10, said the alleged abuse wasn't hard to detect.
"She came to my house twice to borrow the phone so someone would help her," Johnson said. "I gave her advice; she should leave him."

"I have watched him push her out in the snow with no coat and then fling her clothes out, and heard arguments in the middle of the night so loud we would get up and listen," Johnson said. "We know that was an officer there, and we were kind of shocked at the behavior that was going on."

Baker said she and her mother never called police to report the alleged abuse, and she's not sure if Joni Holbrook ever did.

Capt. Tim Rod, commander of the state police's 7th District headquarters, refused to say if the state police ever had disciplinary issues with Holbrook.

"That wouldn't be something I could comment on," he said.

The sheriff's department hadn't fielded complaints at the Holbrook residence before, Heckman said.

"Benzie County deputies haven't responded there on any type of call for service or disturbances or domestics or any of that in the past," he said.

Joni Holbrook, whose maiden name is Ankerson, worked for 86th District Court as a clerk from March 1991 through the end of 1999. She was twice divorced before she married the state trooper in November, 1998, according to court and county records.

The couple separated in November 2007. She moved out of the house and he filed for divorce in Benzie County Circuit Court two months later on Jan. 11, 2008. Within two weeks the couple agreed to reconcile, court records show, and the divorce case eventually was dismissed.

Members of Joni Holbrook's extended family were struggling with the news Monday and didn't want to talk about it.

"She's a great person, we all love her dearly, and this is really a hard time," said her cousin, Terri Zenner.

Joni Holbrook's adult son was in the residence at the time of the shooting and provided a statement to police, but Heckman wouldn't give details.

Holbrook hired on with the state police in 1986. He spent time at posts in Manistee and Ionia before being transferred to Traverse City in 1997. He was promoted to sergeant in 1999 while at Richmond and transferred back to Traverse City in 2002.

Holbrook's superiors said he was a diligent and cheerful worker.


"He made sure equipment worked, vehicles were cleaned and oil was changed in the proper sequence," Rod said.

"He was always willing to help other people," said Lt. Bill Elliott, his boss at the Traverse City post. "Always kind of bubbly, always in good spirits."

Holbrook volunteered for the Benzie Central School track team for the past four years and worked closely with the shot-put and discus throwing athletes, school officials said. His daughter will be a senior there this year.

"(Holbrook) was willing to be a part of it ... he was always willing to work with and talk with everybody," said Benzie Central athletic director Karen Leinaar.

Staff writer Laura Wright contributed to this report.





















Report: Questions remain after wife allegedly said she killed Traverse City State Police sergeant by mLive.com
Tuesday August 11, 2009, 7:22 AM

http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2009/08/report_questions_remain_after.html

Few details are emerging a day after the alleged confession by a Benzie County woman, that she killed her husband, a Michigan State Police sergeant.

A report in today's Traverse City Record-Eagle states that Joni K. Holbrook, 47, was formally charged Monday on an open murder count and is being held without bail. Her husband, Melvin P. Holbrook, 53, was found dead in his home, reportedly after Joni Holbrook called 911 after 1 a.m. Monday.

The Benzie County sheriff said it was too soon to comment on details of the case, the newspaper reported.

The Record-Eagle also quoted a former neighbor of the couple who said she had seen signs of domestic disturbances. The newspaper identified Joni K. Holbrook's lawyer as Jesse L. Williams, of Traverse City, who said there would an appropriate time later to comment.

The Record-Eagle checked court records for backgrounds on the couple, noting that Melvin Holbrook's state police career saw him serve at several posts, including Manistee and Ionia.








 








Mich. woman accused in husband's death cites abuse Aug 11, 2009 5:42 PM (3 hrs ago)
AP
http://www.examiner.com/a-2163832~Mich__woman_accused_in_husband_s_death_cites_abuse.html

Story Created: Aug 10, 2009 at 3:30 PM EDT
Story Updated: Aug 10, 2009 at 3:30 PM EDT
WSBT, South Bend, IN
http://www.wsbt.com/news/regional/52896592.html

BEULAH, Mich. (AP) —The wife of a Michigan State Police sergeant has been charged in his death.

The Traverse City Record-Eagle reports 47-year-old Joni Holbrook was arraigned Monday in Benzie County District Court on an open-murder charge.

Her husband, 53-year-old Melvin Paul Holbrook, was found dead early Monday at their home in Homestead Township, about 20 miles west-southwest of Traverse City.

Benzie County Prosecutor John Daugherty says she called 911 shortly after 1 a.m. and said she'd shot her husband.

Michigan State Police Lt. Bill Elliott says Melvin Holbrook was a 23-year police veteran assigned to the Traverse City post.

Jim Amberg, an attorney for Joni Holbrook, declined to comment on the case.











Police: Wife Murdered State Police Sergeant
 
BEULAH, Mich. (Map, News) - An attorney for a northern Michigan woman accused of fatally shooting her husband says the Michigan State Police sergeant "abused and tortured" her for years leading up to his death.

Jesse Williams, defense attorney for 47-year-old Joni Holbrook, said Tuesday that Holbrook was "physically, mentally and sexually" abused by her husband, 53-year-old Melvin Paul Holbrook.

Williams didn't say if Joni Holbrook admitted killing her husband.

Joni Holbrook is charged with open murder in her husband's death.
He was found dead Monday at their home in Benzie County's Homestead Township, about 20 miles west-southwest of Traverse City.

Melvin Holbrook was a 23-year police veteran assigned to the Traverse City post.


 









Woman accused in husband's death cites abuse ASSOCIATED PRESS AUGUST 11, 2009
Detroit Free Press
http://www.freep.com/article/20090811/NEWS06/90811083/1008/NEWS06/Woman-accused-in-husband-s-death-cites-abuse

An attorney for a northern Michigan woman accused of fatally shooting her husband says the Michigan State Police sergeant "abused and tortured" her for years leading up to his death.

Jesse Williams, defense attorney for 47-year-old Joni Holbrook, said today that Holbrook was "physically, mentally and sexually" abused by her husband, 53-year-old Melvin Paul Holbrook.

Williams didn't say if Joni Holbrook admitted killing her husband.

Joni Holbrook is charged with open murder in her husband's death. He was found dead Monday at their home in Benzie County's Homestead Township, about 20 miles west-southwest of Traverse City.

Melvin Holbrook was a 23-year police veteran assigned to the Traverse City post.



 








Mich. woman accused in husband's death cites abuse Posted 8/11/2009 6:45 PM ET
Hometown Life
http://content.usatoday.net/dist/custom/gci/InsidePage.aspxcId=hometownlife&sParam=31364669.story

BEULAH, Mich. (AP) — An attorney for a northern Michigan woman accused of fatally shooting her husband says the Michigan State Police sergeant "abused and tortured" her for years leading up to his death.

Jesse Williams, defense attorney for 47-year-old Joni Holbrook, said Tuesday that Holbrook was "physically, mentally and sexually" abused by her husband, 53-year-old Melvin Paul Holbrook.

Williams didn't say if Joni Holbrook admitted killing her husband.

Joni Holbrook is charged with open murder in her husband's death. He was found dead Monday at their home in Benzie County's Homestead Township, about 20 miles west-southwest of Traverse City.

Melvin Holbrook was a 23-year police veteran assigned to the Traverse City post.






 









Suspect's friends troubled by murder charge
Joni Holbrook 'very loving and kind,' they say
Traverse City Record Eagle
BY ART BUKOWSKI
abukowski@record-eagle.com
Published: August 12, 2009 07:00 am
http://www.record-eagle.com/local/local_story_224070014.html

TRAVERSE CITY -- Joni K. Holbrook's friends experienced "shock and horror" when they learned she was charged in the shooting death of her husband, Michigan State Police Sgt. Melvin Holbrook.

Holbrook, 47, told authorities she shot and killed her husband as he slept inside the couple's Benzie County's home at about 1 a.m. Monday. She was arraigned on an open count of murder later that morning.

"It's totally out of character, totally out of character," said Tina Lehn, who worked with Holbrook for about eight years at 86th District Court in Traverse City. "She would never hurt anybody for any reason, at any time."

Laurie Stricker, 46, has known Joni Holbrook since both were about 10 years old. She said word of the arrest was deeply troubling for those who know the suspect.

"I have been just inundated with phone calls from the community, the legal community and people I went to school with," Stricker said. "(They're) just really heartbroken over this. She would do anything for me, or anyone. She's just very loving and kind."

Holbrook's preliminary examination, held to determine if there is enough evidence to send the case to trial, is scheduled for Aug. 24. She remains in jail without bond.

Benzie Sheriff's deputies found Melvin Holbrook's body in a bedroom not long after Joni Holbrook called 911 and allegedly said she shot him, authorities said.

Melvin Holbrook, 53, was a 23-year state police veteran who worked as a desk sergeant at the Traverse City post. He previously spent time at posts in Coldwater, Ionia, Richmond and Manistee. Other family members could not be located for comment.

Authorities said they still aren't sure what happened in the hours before the alleged shooting, and they aren't releasing details about Joni Holbrook's statements to police or the weapon involved. Benzie Sheriff Rory Heckman said his department will spend the week conducting interviews and continuing to investigate the shooting.

The department will interview neighbors who alleged Melvin Holbrook was physically abusive toward his wife, Heckman said.

Stricker, Lehn and other friends of the woman knew of problems in the relationship, and she at times asked them to help her find a new place to stay. She didn't tell friends of any physical abuse, they said.

Benzie Prosecutor John B. Daugherty said allegations of abuse likely wouldn't affect the outcome of the case.

"Would it make any difference? I don't think it would," he said. "We think we have a solid case, and it will get more solid as we go down the line. We thought we certainly had probable cause when we authorized the (warrant)."

Jesse L. Williams, Joni Holbrook's attorney, said his client's "story deserves to be told."

"She has been physically, mentally and sexually abused, and tortured for the better part of her married life of 10 years," he said. "Her history of mental, physical and sexual abuse from her husband has diminished her to an absolute shell of a person."
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Former local MSP sergeant shot, killed
By Don Reid
The Daily Reporter, Coldwater Michigan
Fri Aug 14, 2009, 12:01 AM EDT

http://www.thedailyreporter.com/news/x640863073/Former-local-MSP-sergeant-shot-killed

Beulah, Mich. - The wife of a Michigan State Police sergeant — once assigned to the Coldwater Post — is being held on open murder charges in Benzie County.

Joni K. Holbrook, 47, admitted she shot and killed Melvin P. Holbrook, 53, as he slept at their home around 1 a.m. Monday.

Benzie Sheriff Rory Heckman told the Traverse City Record Eagle it would be “premature” to provide details of Joni’s statements to police. He also wouldn’t identify the firearm involved.

The couple had been married for 10 years but had separated a number of times. Neighbors told the Traverse City paper there had been instances of abuse.

Holbrook was assigned to the Coldwater Post for six years before he transferred in the early 1990’s.


Michigan Officer Involved Domestic Violence

1 comment:

Crevis said...

I hate to see the Benzie County Sheriff Dept. investigate this! They are inept, and famous for coverups.