Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Former Deputy John Yeska Jr - Saginaw SD

Former Sheriff Deputy John Yeska Jr.

Original Charges: Original charges: single counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct causing injury, second-degree criminal sexual conduct causing injury and assault with intent to commit sexual penetration.

Sentence: Plea bargain. Pled no contest to gross indecency between a male and a female [a five year felony]. NOT REQUIRED TO REGISTER WITH THE MICHIGAN SEX OFFENDER REGISTRY. Sentenced to 270 days in jail; 90 days on electronic monitoring and five years on probation.


SEE ALSO:
DEPUTY JOHN YESKA JR. [SAGINAW COUNTY SHERIFF DEPARTMENT] Resigned from the Sheriff Department in January 2003, amid allegations that he had fondled a woman while on duty.
http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2003/01/deputy-john-yeska-jr-saginaw-county-sd.html









Former Saginaw County Sheriff's deputy charged with CSC in Bay County
Published: Tuesday, October 05, 2010, 6:00 PM
Updated: Wednesday, October 06, 2010, 9:01 AM
By LaNia Coleman
The Bay City Times
http://www.mlive.com/news/bay-city/index.ssf/2010/10/former_saginaw_county_sheriffs.html





BAY CITY — A former Saginaw County Sheriff’s deputy who resigned in 2003 after being accused of sexual assault now faces similar charges in Bay County.

John T. Yeska, Jr., 40, of Saginaw Township, was charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct causing injury, second-degree criminal sexual conduct causing personal injury, and assault with intent to commit sexual penetration.

First-degree conduct involves penetration. Second-degree involves touching.

The charges stem from an incident that allegedly occurred Aug. 19, 2009, in Hampton Township, according to court documents.

Records indicate Yeska met the alleged victim on the Internet.

On the night of the alleged assault, Yeska and the woman met face-to-face for the first time, court records show.

They reportedly went to a Bay City restaurant before returning to her home and engaging in what Yeska alleges was a sexual encounter of mutual consent, records show.

At a May preliminary hearing, Bridgeport attorney Debra S. Kauten, who is representing Yeska, questioned the victim about her mental health.

The case is scheduled to go to trial Tuesday, Oct. 26, before Bay County Circuit Judge Kenneth W. Schmidt.

Yeska was a seven-year veteran of the Saginaw County Sheriff’s Department when, in January 2003, he resigned amid an investigation of allegations he fondled a woman in his patrol car, Bay City Times records show.

The incident allegedly occurred at Pine Grove Park in Shiawassee County, where Yeska allegedly took the woman after a traffic stop in Oakley, records show.

Sheriff’s deputies investigated the complaint but Prosecutor Michael D. Thomas denied a warrant request, citing insufficient evidence, according to Times archives.

Thomas said the case did not meet the prosecutor’s “threshold for issuing criminal charges.”

Neither Yeska nor his attorney could be reached





 
 
 
Saginaw deputy once accused of sex crime faces new charges
Posted: Thursday, October 7, 2010 10:02 am
By The Argus-Press
http://argus-press.com/news/community/chesaning/article_a197edbe-d21b-11df-9349-001cc4c03286.html

BAY CITY — A former Saginaw County sheriff’s deputy who resigned after being accused of fondling a woman in a Shiawassee County park is facing similar charges in Bay City.

John T. Yeska Jr., 40, is charged with one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct causing injury, one count of second-degree CSC causing injury and one with assault with intent to commit sexual penetration, stemming from an Aug. 19 incident in Hampton Township.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 






Trial or plea awaits former Saginaw County Sheriff's deputy charged with sexual assault in Bay County
Published: Saturday, October 30, 2010, 3:30 PM
By Cole Waterman
The Bay City Times
http://www.mlive.com/news/bay-city/index.ssf/2010/10/trial_or_plea_awaits_former_sa.html

BAY CITY — A former Saginaw County Sheriff’s deputy facing felony sexual assault charges in Bay County is scheduled to either enter into a plea deal or face jury trial Tuesday.

John T. Yeska Jr., 40, of Saginaw Township, is charged with single counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct causing injury, second-degree criminal sexual conduct causing injury and assault with intent to commit sexual penetration, court records show.

Tuesday, he is slated to appear before Bay County Circuit Judge Kenneth W. Schmidt. If he does not accept a plea offer at that time, his case is likely to proceed to trial, court records indicate.

The charges against Yeska stem from an incident that occurred Aug. 19, 2009, in Hampton Township. On that night, Yeska met face-to-face with a local woman he allegedly first met on the Internet, court records show.

The two apparently went on a date at a Bay City restaurant then went to her home and engaged in a sexual encounter. Yeska has claimed the incident was mutually consensual, court records show.

In January 2003, after seven years of service, Yeska resigned from the Saginaw County Sheriff’s Department amid allegations he fondled a woman in his patrol car, Bay City Times archives show.












Former Saginaw County Sheriff's deputy facing sexual assault charges in Bay County accepts plea deal
Published: Tuesday, November 02, 2010, 10:00 AM
By Cole Waterman
The Bay City Times
http://www.mlive.com/news/bay-city/index.ssf/2010/11/former_saginaw_county_sheriffs_1.html


John T. Yeska Jr.


BAY CITY — A former Saginaw County Sheriff’s deputy charged with several felony sex crimes in Bay County has accepted a plea offer, rather than have his case decided by a jury.

Tuesday, John T. Yeska Jr., 40, of Saginaw Township, appeared before Bay County Circuit Judge Kenneth W. Schmidt and pleaded no contest to gross indecency between a male and a female. In exchange, prosecutors agreed to dismiss single counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct causing injury, second-degree criminal sexual conduct causing injury and assault with intent to commit sexual penetration.

A no contest plea is not an admission of guilt, but is treated as such for the purpose of sentencing.

Though the charge Yeska pleaded to is punishable by a maximum of five years in prison, prosecutors are recommending he be sentenced to statutory probation, said Bay County Assistant Prosecutor J. Dee Brooks.

Before accepting his plea, Schmidt advised Yeska the recommended sentence could still include one year in jail and five years probation.

Yeska will not be required to register with the Michigan Sex Offender Registry, as his victim was not a minor, Brooks.

The charges against Yeska stem from an incident that occurred Aug. 19, 2009, in Hampton Township. On that day, Yeska went on a date with a local woman he had met on the Internet, court records show.

The woman told Hampton Township Police officers that on the drive back to her home, Yeska allegedly forced her head into his lap. Yeska then followed her inside her home and sexually assaulted her, the woman told police.

Yeska had claimed the sexual encounter was mutually consensual, Bay City Times archives show.

In January 2003, after seven years of service, Yeska resigned from the Saginaw County Sheriff’s Department amid allegations he fondled a woman in his patrol car, Times archives show.

The incident allegedly occurred in Pine Grove Park in Shiawassee County, where Yeska reportedly took the woman after a traffic stop in Oakley, Times archives show.

Though deputies investigated the matter, Saginaw County Prosecutor Michael D. Thomas denied a warrant request, citing insufficient evidence, Times archives show.

Schmidt is slated to sentence Yeska at 8:30 a.m. on Dec. 13.












Former Saginaw County deputy sentenced for sex crime in Bay County
Published: Monday, December 13, 2010, 3:31 PM
Updated: Tuesday, December 14, 2010, 9:39 AM
By LaNia Coleman
The Bay City Times
http://www.mlive.com/news/bay-city/index.ssf/2010/12/former_saginaw_county_deputy_s.html


BAY CITY — A former Saginaw County Sheriff’s deputy is to spend time behind bars for a sex offense.

John T. Yeska Jr., who resigned as a deputy in 2003 after being accused of sexually assaulting a woman in Saginaw County, was sentenced today for a crime that occurred last year in Bay County.

Circuit Judge Kenneth W. Schmidt ordered the 40-year-old Saginaw Township man to serve 270 days in jail for gross indecency between a male and female, a five-year felony.

Yeska pleaded no contest in October. A no contest plea is not an admission of guilt but is treated as such for the purpose of sentencing.

Schmidt also ordered Yeska to serve 90 days on electronic monitoring and five years on probation, prohibited him from using a computer for social networking purposes and ordered him to complete sex offender treatment.

The judge further deferred another 90 days in jail pending further order of the court and imposed $2,600 in fines and fees.

Yeska will not have to register as a sex offender because his victim was not a minor, prosecutors have said.

Yeska was charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct causing injury, second-degree criminal sexual conduct causing injury and assault with intent to commit sexual penetration after a Hampton Township woman reported that he had sexually assaulted her Aug. 19, 2009, at her home.

The pair had met on an Internet networking site and met for the first time that day, according to reports.

After having dinner at a Bay City restaurant, Yeska drove the woman to her home, followed her inside and forced her to have sex with him, the victim told investigators.

Yeska had claimed the sexual encounter was consensual.

In January 2003, after seven years of service, Yeska resigned from the Saginaw County Sheriff's Department amid allegations he fondled a woman in his patrol car, Bay City Times archives show.

Though deputies investigated the matter, Saginaw County Prosecutor Michael D. Thomas denied a warrant request, citing insufficient evidence.




Michigan Officer Involved Domestic Violence

Saturday, August 15, 2009

MSP Melvin Paul Holbrook - Obituary / Funeral




See Also:











Melvin Paul Holbrook
Ludington Daily News
August 13, 2009
http://www.ludingtondailynews.com/news.php?story_id=45490&newsgroup_id

Melvin Paul Holbrook III, 53, of Beulah, died Monday, August 10 at his home. Paul was born on Feb. 7, 1956 in Ionia, the first child of Melvin and Maureen (Doram) Holbrook Jr., and graduated from Greenville High School with the class of 1974. Paul furthered his studies at Albion College, where he earned his bachelor of arts degree in 1978.

He worked in Grand Rapids as an accountant for seven years before joining the Michigan State Police, graduating from recruit school on April 6, 1986. He served at the Coldwater, Ionia, Manistee, and Traverse City posts, the latter for the past 10 years. Paul enjoyed spending time outdoors hunting, fishing, and playing several sports, and volunteered for the Benzie Central High School track team. He was a member of Northpointe Community Church in Traverse City, and was actively involved with the church worship team.

He was preceded in death by his father in 2008. Paul will be remembered by his mother, Maureen Holbrook of Miami, Okla.; his children, Paul Holbrook IV of Nashville, Tenn., Sabrina Wallington of Toledo, Ohio and Alana Holbrook of Beulah; his grandson, Cameron Reuther; his brothers and sister, Matthew (Sheri) Holbrook of Milwaukee, Wis., Maurice (Maria) Holbrook of Ludington, Mark (Christine) Holbrook of Springfield, Mo. and Meleen (John) Froman of Miami, Okla.; his aunt, Kathleen Holbrook of Petoskey; his uncle, Ron (Dorothy) Doram of Houston, Texas; and many nieces and nephews.

Funeral services with State Police Honor Guard will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 15 at the auditorium of Benzie Central High School, with his pastor the Rev. Ted Mulder, and Capt. Steve Eccles, MSP Chaplain officiating. Burial will follow at Oakwood Cemetery in Traverse City. Friends may meet with his family for a time of visitation on Friday from 5 - 8 p.m. at the Benzie Central High School.

Those who wish may make contributions to the Benzie Central High School Track team in Paul’s memory. Please visit www.stephensfuneralhome.net to sign his guestbook, or to leave a memory of Paul for his family. Arrangements are being cared for by the Wyman Funeral and Cremation Services - Stephens Funeral Home in Scottville.









Melvin Paul Holbrook III
Tuesday, February 07, 1956 - Monday, August 10, 2009
http://www.stephensfuneralhome.net/

VisitationsFriday, August 14, 2009
5:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Benzie Central High School
9300 Homestead Road, Benzonia, MI 49616

ServicesSaturday, August 15, 2009
10:30 AM
Benzie Central High School
9300 Homestead Road, Benzonia, MI 49616

If you asked Melvin Paul Holbrook III who he was, he would have responded “A Michigan State Trooper.” His dedication to his job was of the highest priority to him and he was driven to excellence in his career. Paul was much more than a trooper; he was a son, brother, and father who possessed a diverse palette of interests through which he brought light and life to all those within his reach. Paul was a man of faith who used his gift of music to minister to his church family and bring peace to his soul.

The 1950s were an unprecedented period of time in American history as it was during this decade that racial segregation was declared unconstitutional in public schools by the Supreme Court, the vaccine for polio was discovered, and the world was introduced to the sounds of rock ‘n roll. It was also during this time that Melvin and Maureen (Doran) Holbrook, Jr., of Ionia, Michigan, were pleased to announce the birth of their first child, their son Melvin Paul, on February 7, 1956. Melvin, who was usually known as Paul, was later joined by four younger siblings: Matthew, Maurice “Maurie,” Mark, and Meleen. From an early age he fostered close relationships with his siblings that would follow him throughout his entire lifetime. Paul’s father supported his family through his work for Jackson Vibrator, a manufacturer of railway equipment that is now known as Harsco Track. His mother was a homemaker who cared for her children and kept their busy family schedule intact.

There were a few interests that Paul developed during his formative years that were an integral part of his life as an adult. He loved sports and was a talented and intense opponent during his high school years at Greenville High School. Paul was an All-State fullback in football, played basketball, and was an All-State quarter miler and sprinter on the track team. Paul also had a passion for cars and rebuilt a Barracuda into a street rod. He was passionate about this car as evidenced by his immersion of both time and money. His car was fast, it was loud, it was cool, and most importantly, it was all his! His brothers can still recall the car’s specs – “440cc V8 with a massive carburetor and a tricked-out rear end!”

After graduating from high school in 1974, Paul continued his education at Albion College where he played football for two years. It was also during his time as a student at Albion that he married his high school sweetheart. The young couple soon welcomed two children, Paul IV and Sabrina. Paul graduated from Albion with his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Accounting in 1978, and began working as an accountant for a tool & die company in Grand Rapids, where he worked for seven years. Paul discovered that this is not where his heart truly was, and he braced himself for a career change. He applied for acceptance into the prestigious Michigan State Police School and he worked hard to gain admittance. He proudly graduated from recruit school on April 6, 1986.

Paul’s career path then led him to work for the Michigan State Police from a few different posts throughout Michigan including Coldwater, Ionia, Manistee, and for the past ten years, from Traverse City. It was after he became a trooper that Paul remarried and welcomed daughter Alana into his heart.

There were so many things that made Paul unique. He enjoyed spending time outdoors hunting and fishing, and he continued to play a variety of sports including softball. To Paul, physical conditioning was more than just a job requirement, it was a lifestyle. He fostered a spirit of generosity, volunteering his time for the Benzie Central High School track team where he worked with shot put and discus throwers. He had attended Resurrection Life Church in Traverse City, and had recently gotten involved in a Bible study at Northpointe Community Church where he also served as a member of the worship team, playing his guitar. It was his faith that helped sustain him when he grieved the death of his father just one year ago. Paul loved music and gained much peace and fulfillment through music over the years. He was a very structured and disciplined individual who always saw things in black and white. Paul was a bit of a perfectionist and thrived on order and structure in his life.


Melvin Paul Holbrook III was a hard working man who was a community servant through and through. He was dedicated to whatever he put his mind to and could always seem to accomplish whatever goal he set forth for himself. Paul was athletic and musically inclined as well, and with his sacrificial nature combined with the love for the people in the communities he served, he impacted lives far too numerous to count.

Paul will be remembered by his mother Maureen Holbrook of Miami, Oklahoma, his children Paul Holbrook IV of Nashville, Tennessee, Sabrina Wallington of Toledo, Ohio, and Alana Holbrook of Beulah; his grandson Cameron Reuther; his brothers and sister Matthew (Sheri) Holbrook of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Maurice (Maria) Holbrook of Ludington, Mark (Christine) Holbrook of Springfield, Missouri, and Meleen (John) Froman of Miami, Oklahoma; his Aunt Kathleen Holbrook of Petoskey; his Uncle Ron (Dorothy) Doran of Dallas, Texas; and many nieces and nephews.

Funeral services with State Police Honor Guard will be held at 10:30 AM on Saturday, August 15 at the auditorium of Benzie Central High School, with his pastor Rev. Ted Mulder, and Capt. Steve Eccles, MSP Chaplain officiating. Burial will follow at Oakwood Cemetery in Traverse City.

ContributionsBenzie Cental High School Track
9222 Homestead Road Benzonia, MI 49616

Send Flowers To:
Benzie Central High School
to be delivered Friday afternoon by 3:00 PM










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.













Holbrook services are this weekend
TRAVERSE CITY RECORD
FROM STAFF REPORTS
Published: August 14, 2009 07:30 am
http://www.record-eagle.com/local/local_story_226073044.html

BEULAH -- Funeral services for Michigan State Police Sgt. Melvin Holbrook are scheduled for this weekend.
Services with the state police honor guard are scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Saturday in the auditorium at Benzie Central High School. Burial will follow at Oakwood Cemetery in Traverse City.
Visitation will be held at the school today from 5 to 8 p.m.
Holbrook, who worked as a desk sergeant at the Traverse City post, was shot and killed inside his home in Benzie County's Homestead Township at about 1 a.m. Monday. His wife, Joni K. Holbrook, is charged with an open count of murder and remains in jail without bond.
Related Stories:
- Suspect's friends troubled by murder charge
- Questions build in trooper's death
- Wife charged in death of policeman
- Police sergeant killed in Benzie









Michigan State Police troopers and other officers watch as the body of Sgt. Melvin P. Holbrook is taken from the Benzie Central High School auditorium after a funeral service. The casket is followed by family members.
Douglas Tesner / Record-Eagle







Sgt. Holbrook remembered at funeral
Trooper's wife is charged with his murderTraverse City Record-Eagle
Published: August 15, 2009 08:00 pm
BY ART BUKOWSKI
abukowski@record-eagle.com
http://www.record-eagle.com/local/local_story_227200038.html

BENZONIA -- Several letters arrived at the Michigan State Police Traverse City post after the death of Sgt. Melvin Paul Holbrook, but one especially touched his friends and family.

Holbrook worked as desk sergeant at the post and constantly dealt with the public, either by telephone or in person. Sometimes people would complain, and other times they needed help.

Holbrook's friend and pastor, the Rev. Ted Mulder, read a letter to a crowd of people gathered in Benzie Central High School for Holbrook's funeral service Saturday morning. The letter was from a man who often called the post and spoke with Holbrook.

"I was sorry to hear about Sgt. Holbrook ... I always felt like he actually cared about my rather no-problem problems," Mulder read from the letter. "He was always very kind and sympathetic to me, and I'll really miss him."

Police believe Holbrook's wife of ten years, Joni K. Holbrook, shot him inside the couple's Benzie County residence at about 1 a.m. Aug 10. She is charged with an open count of murder and is jailed without bond.

Mulder and others who gathered for Holbrook's funeral service said he constantly went out of his way and took extra time to help others. He was heavily involved in his church, as well as with Benzie Central's bowling and track teams.

"The truth is, he was dependable," said his younger brother, Maurice Holbrook. "When people had a problem, and they needed help, they knew they could ask him, and he always stepped up. That's just the way it was."

Holbrook, 53, joined the state police in 1986 and served in Ionia, Richmond, Manistee and Coldwater. He worked at the Traverse City post from 1997 to 1999 and then from 2002 until his death.

Holbrook, a native of Ionia, graduated from Greenville High School, where he was an all-state fullback on the football team, played basketball and ran track. He earned an accounting degree from Albion College, and worked as an accountant at a tool and die shop before enrolling in state police recruit school. He was an avid outdoorsman and loved music, playing guitar for his church.

Dozens of police officers from several law enforcement agencies attended his funeral, including state police director Col. Peter C. Munoz. Burial was scheduled at Oakwood Cemetery in Traverse City immediately following the service.

Among the officers and former officers at the funeral was Scott Rothermel, who trained under Holbrook about 10 years ago. Rothermel said Holbrook always spent extra time to help young troopers and was highly regarded at the post.

"He had street smarts as well as book smarts, which combined to make him a very fine trooper," Rothermel said.

Retired Trooper Brett Nichols, who also trained under Holbrook, agreed.

"He'd do anything for you," he said.

Police are still investigating the events that led up to the alleged shooting. They haven't released details about the weapon or Joni Holbrook's statements to police. Maurice Holbrook said during the service that the Holbrook family grieves for her along with Melvin.

"We truly, truly are hurting for her and her family as well," he said.













MSP Trooper laid to rest
Wife is charged with open murder
Up North Live
By Courtney Rehmer
Saturday, August 15, 2009 at 8:10 p.m.
http://www.upnorthlive.com/news/news_story.aspx?id=337570

BENZIE -- A community gathers Saturday to say goodbye to one of their own. Michigan State Police Sergeant Melvin Paul Holbrook was laid to rest Saturday.

"He always came to work with a smile on his face and a willingness and his strength was he wanted to help people," said Captain Tim Rod of the Michigan State Police. "That was his goal everyday is to do what he could for others."

Benzie County Sheriff deputies found the body of Sgt. Holbrook at his home on Derby Lane in Homestead Township near Honor early Monday morning. Holbrook's wife, Joni, is charged with open murder after police say she admitted to shooting him.

Inside Benzie Central High School Saturday, Sgt. Holbrook's younger brother shared with family and friends his fondest childhood memories and his brother's love for athletics and his job.

The pastor of the church that Holbrook attended also spoke of Sgt. Holbrook's strong faith and dedication to the church.

Holbrook's career with the Michigan State Police took him to several posts throughout the state, but it's at the Traverse City post where he would make a home for the past ten years. His colleagues described him as a trooper's trooper, a man dedicated to his job.

"He stayed close to the road and he knew what they were doing and what they were dealing with, with the citizens and complaints and he was sensitive to that," Rod said. "He made sure the troopers had everything they needed to do their job."

Sgt. Holbrook leaves behind three children and one grandson.

"He loved his family, he loved his daughter, he was very active with the community, this school where we stand on this property," Rod said.

Captain Tim Rod says Sgt. Holbrook will be greatly missed by everyone at the state police post.

"Whether you're talking to him in person, or over the phone, he wanted to help you. That's what we'll miss the most...he was there for us," Rod said.

A private burial followed at the Oakwood Cemetery in Traverse City. For those who wish to do so, contributions are being accepted to the Benzie Central High School track team in Sgt. Holbrook's memory.Michigan Officer Involved Domestic Violence

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."
Related Stories:
- Questions build in trooper's death
- Wife charged in death of policeman
- Police sergeant killed in Benzie
















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