On June 03, 2013, former Hart city councilman Timothy Shannon pleaded no-contest to the second-degree murder of his wife, Lee-Ann Shannon [December 29, 2012]. In exchange for his plea, the original charge of open murder was dismissed.
Lee-Ann Shannon murder - Councilman Timothy Shannon - Hart, Michigan -
December 29, 2012
Councilman Tim Shannon - Charged - Murder of Lee-Ann - January 11, 2013
Councilman Tim Shannon - Sentenced - Murder of Lee-Ann - July 15, 2013
Former city council member pleads no contest to wife's bathtub drowning
UP North Live
Posted: 06.04.2013 at 3:08 PM
OCEANA CO. -- A former city council member in Oceana County has pleaded no contest in the bathtub drowning of his wife.
Timothy Shannon, of Hart, enter the plea Monday in Oceana County Circuit Court to second-degree murder in the Dec. 29 death of 34-year-old Lee-Ann Shannon. He faced open murder.
A no contest plea isn't an admission of guilt but is treated as such for sentencing.
The 34-year-old is scheduled to be sentenced July 15. Prosecutors have asked for 20 years in prison.
Defense attorney Doug Springstead sought the plea so Shannon could avoid speaking about the crime. He faces a civil lawsuit.
The department says the death was initially reported Dec. 29 as an accidental drowning at the couple's home in the Oceana County community, about 60 miles northwest of Grand Rapids. Investigators believe Timothy Shannon drowned his wife in the tub and attempted to report it as an accident.
He was a Hart City Council member at the time of her death. The couple has two children.
Ex-Hart city official Timothy Shannon pleads no contest to wife's bathtub murder
John S. Hausman
June 03, 2013 at 2:04 PM
Updated June 03, 2013 at 3:35 PM
HART, MI -- Timothy Nathaniel Shannon, former Hart City Council member, has pleaded no contest to second-degree murder for the bathtub drowning of his wife, Lee-Ann Elizabeth Shannon.
Shannon, 34, was scheduled for sentencing at 10 a.m. July 15. Oceana County 27th Circuit Judge Terrence R. Thomas took the plea Monday, June 3, and will sentence Shannon.
Oceana County Prosecutor Joseph Bizon said he will ask for a minimum sentence of 20 years in prison, which he said is near the high end of state sentencing guidelines. Thomas can set a maximum sentence of anything up to life in prison with the possibility of parole.
A no-contest plea is not an admission of guilt but results in conviction, and judges treat it as a guilty plea at sentencing.
The original charge of open murder was dismissed. Open murder includes the possibility of conviction of first-degree or second-degree murder or manslaughter. Shannon's plea headed off a trial that had been scheduled for July 17. A conviction of first-degree premeditated murder would have guaranteed a sentence of life without chance of parole.
Bizon said he and the Oceana County Sheriff's Office detectives who investigated the case believe second-degree murder is what they could have proved at trial. He said Lee-Ann Shannon's family agreed to the offer.
"We're hoping to allow the victim's family to have a sense of closure and hopefully find some peace from this," Bizon said.
Tim Shannon's attorney, Douglas Springstead, could not immediately be reached for comment after the plea.
Lee-Ann Shannon, who was 34, died Dec. 29 in a bathtub in the couple's home in the 200 block of Courtland Street in the city of Hart.The death was reported initially as an accidental drowning.
When the case turned into a homicide investigation, the Hart Police Department turned it over to the Oceana County Sheriff’s Office because Tim Shannon was a city council member. He later resigned his seat on the council.
At Shannon's preliminary hearing Jan. 22, two police detectives testified that Shannon told them he held his wife underwater until she died, after she angrily pulled him into the tub with her.
Shannon has been lodged at the Oceana County Jail since shortly after his arrest in January. He was denied bond.