Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Firefighter Gerald Paul Thoma Jr - Sentenced - Fruitport FD

Also See:

Firefighter Gerald Paul Thoma Jr. charged with domestic violence [June 02, 2007]

Firefighter Gerald Paul Thoma Jr. charged with DUI [July 20, 2012]











Former Fruitport Township fire captain got jail, probation for felony drunken driving
By John S. Hausman
The Muskegon Chronicle
March 14, 2013 at 2:21 PM
Updated March 14, 2013 at 2:22 PM
http://www.mlive.com/news/muskegon/index.ssf/2013/03/former_fruitport_township_fire_1.html

MUSKEGON, MI -- Gerald Paul Thoma, a former Fruitport Township fire captain, has served a jail sentence and is serving a long probation term for felony drunken driving involving a videotaped motorcycle accident that seriously injured him.

According to court records, Muskegon County 60th District Judge Andrew Wierengo III last month sentenced Thoma, 49, of Fruitport Township, to jail for 30 days, with credit for 30 days already served. Thoma also was placed on probation for three years, ordered to wear a SCRAM alcohol monitor for 45 days and ordered to pay $948 in fines and costs, according to court records.

Thoma pleaded no contest earlier to third-offense driving while intoxicated, a felony. Most felony cases go to circuit court for plea or trial, but Thoma was referred to Wierengo’s Sobriety Court.

Thoma was arraigned Oct. 2, 2012. The longtime fire captain submitted his resignation after he was charged with a crime.

According to earlier reports, toxicology test results indicated he had a blood-alcohol level of 0.10 percent when the accident happened at 11 p.m. July 20, 2012, in the parking lot of Office Max in the 1700 block of East Sherman Boulevard in the city of Muskegon, authorities said. The blood-alcohol limit for driving a motor vehicle in Michigan is 0.08 percent.

Thoma struck a concrete parking block while attempting the stunt, police said. A video of the accident was released to the media by the Muskegon County Prosecutor’s Office.

Thoma suffered serious injuries and was hospitalized for several weeks after the crash.



Monday, January 28, 2013

Former Sheriff Candidate Lance Laird - Jackson County



In 2012, Lance Laird ran for the position of Jackson County Sheriff. At the time, Laird was on probation for a domestic violence assault [August 28, 2010]. During the campaign, he was jailed for violating the terms of that probation. Laird lost the August 2012 primary for Jackson County Sheriff.



In January 2013, Laird was arrested for transporting $900,000 worth of  cocaine from Texas to Michigan.





"I find your client to be one of the most manipulative and controlling individuals that I have ever run across, according the report, according to the information, and according to the violation."
[Comment Jackson County Judge Mazur made to Lance Laird's attorney during Laird's hearing for the domestic violence charge and violation of bond].













Former Jackson County Sheriff Candidate Busted for Cocaine
By FOX 47 News
CREATED Jan. 30, 2013
http://www.fox47news.com/news/topstories/189007301.html






One of the same people who ran for Jackson County Sheriff last year has been busted for cocaine.


Lance Laird lost the August primary while sitting in jail. He got out, and cops say he was driving one of three vehicles stopped last week in Calhoun County.

More than four kilos were found inside a spare tire. Cops say the cars were coming back from Texas. Eight others are facing charges for possession with intent to sell.







Lance Laird, former candidate for Jackson County sheriff, among those arrested after large cocaine bust
By Danielle Salisbury
The Jackson Patriot
January 28, 2013 at 6:36 PM
Updated January 30, 2013 at 6:43 PM
http://www.mlive.com/news/jackson/index.ssf/2013/01/lance_laird_former_candidate_f.html




TEKONSHA, MI – A former candidate for Jackson County sheriff was among eight people arrested last week when police found 4.5 kilograms of cocaine in a GMC Yukon near Tekonsha.

Lance Laird, who lost in the August Democratic primary, was driving one of three vehicles stopped Wednesday on M-60 near 19 ½ Mile Road in Calhoun County, according to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court.

The vehicles had gone to Texas and were returning to Michigan. Laird, in a Pontiac Grand Prix, was accompanying the Yukon, where police said they found the cocaine inside a spare tire. The tire was attached beneath the SUV, according to the complaint, filed Friday in the Western District of Michigan in Grand Rapids.

Laird’s co-defendants are: Juan Guerrero Jr., Robert Paul Villarreal, Julio Cruz Pizano, Gonzalo Ramon Delarosa, Ryan Joshua Nice, Genoveva Pizano Villarreal and Abel Bernardo Villarreal.

Friday, the defendants appeared before a federal magistrate judge, and are in federal custody. A pretrial conference hearing is scheduled for Thursday.

They are charged with conspiring to possess cocaine with the intention of distributing it.

Driving the Yukon was Delarosa, 59, of Blackman Township, according to the complaint. Laird admitted to leaving Delarosa’s home on Rives Junction Road in the Grand Prix and heading to Texas.

Laird, 36, said he had made the same trip about two months ago, the complaint states.

A confidential informant led police to investigate the most recent trip.

The informant told a Lansing police officer that Guerrero, who lives in Lansing, has connections for illegal narcotics in Texas, according to the complaint.

The informant told the officer Guerrero would be planning a trek last week, and the informant gave a cell phone to Guerrero, which police then tracked.

Law enforcement personnel monitored the men's movements and state police first stopped the Grand Prix after it returned to Michigan. A white pickup, accompanying the Yukon and the Grand Prix, swerved at a trooper’s patrol vehicle as the trooper went after the Yukon.

The complaint alleges the pickup was a “bait vehicle,” used by drug traffickers to draw the attention of law enforcement away from the vehicle carrying the drugs, according to the complaint.

Police stopped the pickup and then pursued the Yukon, which had picked up its speed from about 35 mph to more than 60 mph in snowy, icy conditions in an apparent attempt to avoid a stop, the complaint states.

The three vehicles were traveling together, Pizano, 45, admitted to a deputy on the Jackson Narcotics Enforcement Team, according to the complaint.

The Jackson team is familiar with Pizano, Laird and Delarosa, said state police Detective Lt. Dave Cook, the team commander.

They are “known targets,” he said Monday.

During the primary in August, Laird was in jail for testing positive for cocaine while on probation for a domestic violence charge. He denied using the drug.

The jail stay was his 14th in Jackson County since 2006, jail records showed.

Lance lost the primary to Jackson reserve officer Kenneth Carpenter, but still earned more than 1,400 votes.

Sheriff Steve Rand, a Republican, beat Carpenter handily in the November general election.

The cocaine found last week has a value of about $900,000, state police reported.

"It's probably the biggest (bust) we have been involved in in a long time," Cook said of the Jackson team.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Officer Jeff Smith - Eaton Rapids PD






At the trial for the domestic violence incident, Officer Jeff Smith admitted to pulling out his gun and holding it to his head! But the jurors found him not guilty of domestic violence...What were they thinking???









Coverage of Officer Jeff Smith's trial








Coverage update on Officer Jeff Smith's trial











On January 15, 2013 Eaton Rapids PD Sergeant Jeff Smith was arraigned on domestic violence charges, for an incident that took place on July 07, 2012.






Sgt. Charged of Domestic Violence Found Not Guilty

Posted: Apr 17, 2013 10:37 AM CDT
Updated: Apr 17, 2013 4:15 PM CDT
By Maria Hechanova
http://www.wlns.com/story/22002288/closing-arguments-heard-from-former-sgt-charged-of-domestic-violence

MASON, Mich. (WLNS) - A jury found Sgt. Jeff Smith with Eaton County to be not guilty of charges for domestic violence.

Sgt. Jeff Smith, a sergeant with the Eaton Rapids Police Department was accused of physically harming his ex-wife last summer. The two were married at the time, but court records in Jackson County show they divorced late last year.












Eaton Rapids Sgt. In Court For Domestic Violence
Posted: Apr 12, 2013 11:29 AM CDT
http://www.wlns.com/story/21955885/eaton-rapids-sgt-in-court-for-domestic-violence-charges





MASON, Mich. (WLNS) - A local cop and his ex-wife took to the witness stand today in a battle of "he said, she said" in 55th District Court.

Sgt. Jeff Smith, a sergeant with the Eaton Rapids Police Department is accused of physically harming Leslie Gill last summer. The two were married at the time, but court records in Jackson County show they divorced late last year.

Smith is charged with domestic violence. He testified in court today that the two got into an argument after attending a mutual friend's going away party back in July of 2012. While on the drive back to their Meridian Township home, Smith said the two started verbally fighting about a job Gill wanted to take.

Smith told the jury the heated conversation made him question his marriage. When the two arrived home, Smith said she wasn't welcome there. Smith then testified Gill became physical and "hit" him in the chest.

Smith said the two eventually made it inside the home and into one of the bedrooms where he pulled out a loaded gun.

"She was upset. I just continued to get verbally cut down," said Smith. "It's tough to talk about. I put the gun to my head & she said you're a coward again. I put the gun back down and said if you feel like I hurt you, why don't you pull the trigger?"

Smith says the gun never went off and he ended up removing the magazine and rounds.

When Gill took the witness stand today, she described Gill as "angry" and that she was "afraid" to report the alleged domestic violence incident to police.

"He pushed me. He told me you're not coming in. This is my house, you're not coming in," said Leslie Gill. "At that point, I said I am coming in. I live here & attempted to push past him to get into the house. He grabbed my right arm and started whipping me around."

Gill said she received bruises on her feet, her arm, and a scrape on her knee. She also told the jury Smith continued to say over and over that "If you report this, I'm in so much trouble. You can't leave."

She also mentioned the gun in her testimony saying Smith put it to his head and told her to pull the trigger. Gill told the jury that she didn't and convinced him to put the gun down. She then told the court she left the home and drove to her mother's house.

Smith's attorney told 6 News the domestic violence charge against him were brought to light, because one of his co-workers was trying to and advance her own career.

Smith is still employed with the Eaton Rapids Police Department, but is on paid administrative leave. He's an 11-year-veteran of the force.

If convicted of domestic violence, a misdemeanor, the prosecutor says Smith could face 93 days in jail.

The trial is expected to resume on Wednesday, April 17 at 9:00 a.m.










Police Sergeant Faces Domestic Violence Charges
Posted: Jan 15, 2013 3:03 PM CST
By Ann Emmerich -
http://www.wlns.com/story/20595118/police-sergeant-faces-domestic-violence-charges

Sergeant Jeff Smith from the Eaton Rapids Police Department is facing domestic violence charges.

City records show he's an 11 year veteran of the force and was promoted to sergeant last April.

Smith stood quiet at his arraignment Monday in Ingham County District Court. His charges stem from an incident last July against his then wife. Records out of Jackson County show they divorced late last year.

Smith serves on Eaton Rapids' Police Force, but lives in Meridian Township. Because the charge against him is a misdemeanor, he wasn't jailed and is out on a personal bond of $500. As part of that bond, the judge granted him permission to have a gun for work purposes only.

A sergeant with the Eaton Rapids Police Department said the chief is out of town for the next week and a half and no one there is authorized to speak about the charges against Smith. It's unknown if he is continuing to work or suspended.

He's due back in court in about two weeks.

Stay with 6 news as we continue to bring you the details of this story.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Deputy Michael VanderLaan: Ottawa SD

Deputy Michael VanderLaan [Ottawa County SD]




March 13, 2013: Deputy VanderLaan placed on probation for January 11th domestic violence charge. The DV conviction will be removed from his record upon successful completion of probation. Although Deputy VanderLaan has pleaded guilty to DV charges and is on probation, he remains working at the Ottawa County SD.


January 11, 2013: Deputy VanderLaan involved in a domestic with his wife, which resulted in minor injuries" and "bruising" to the officer's wife.

January 11, 2013: Michigan State Police began investigating the domestic violence incident involving Deputy VanderLaan.

January 12, 2013: Ottawa County Sheriff suspended Deputy VanderLaan from patrol duty during the DV investigations and placed him on administrative-only duties until the court case is resolved.

January 21, 2013: Deputy VanderLaan's wife filed for divorce.

January 23, 2013: Deputy VanderLaan was arrested and charged with one count of misdemeanor domestic violence.

To date: Deputy VanderLaan remains on administrative duty at the Ottawa County Sheriff Department.











Ottawa County Sheriff's deputy sentenced for domestic violence
Thursday, March 14, 2013 3:11 p.m. EDT
WKZO NEWS
http://wkzo.com/news/articles/2013/mar/14/ottawa-county-sheriffs-deputy-sentenced-for-domestic-violence/

GRAND HAVEN (WKZO) -- Ottawa County Sheriff's Deputy Michael Vanderlaan will be on probation for a year for a domestic violence conviction. The 41-year-old cop could have the conviction removed from his record after completing probation. He was charged in January after a fight with his wife, and remains on desk duty with the sheriff's department pending a disciplinary hearing this week.









Ottawa County sheriff's deputy sentenced to probation on domestic violence charge
By John Tunison
jtunison@mlive.com
March 13, 2013 at 4:40 PM
Updated March 13, 2013 at 5:12 PM
MLive
http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2013/03/ottawa_county_sheriffs_deputy.html

GRAND HAVEN, MI -- A judge has sentenced an Ottawa County sheriff's deputy to a year of probation - with the potential the charge will be erased - after he was charged with domestic violence in January.

Michael Vanderlaan, 41, was sentenced under the Michigan Spousal Abuse Act that allows first-time offenders the opportunity to have their criminal conviction removed from the public record if they satisfactorily complete probation.

Vanderlaan was charged with domestic violence after a Jan. 11 altercation involving his wife.

Vanderlaan was assigned to administrative duties after being charged and is working at the sheriff's Georgetown Township office.

Ottawa County Undersheriff Greg Steigenga said Wednesday, March 13, Vanderlaan, a 10-year employee with the department, remains on that status pending a disciplinary hearing expected later this week.










Ottawa County deputy's plea to domestic violence is under advisement

By John Tunison
jtunison@mlive.com
The Grand Rapids Press
March 01, 2013 at 10:05 AM
Updated March 01, 2013 at 11:37 AM
http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2013/03/ottawa_county_deputys_plea_to.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+grpress+%28The+Grand+Rapids+Press+Latest+News+%7C+MLive.com%29



GRAND HAVEN, MI -- A 41-year-old Ottawa County sheriff's deputy could be sentenced as early as March 11 on a domestic violence charge, court records show.


A judge took a plea to domestic violence for Michael Vanderlaan under advisement on Feb. 18, with a pending March 11 sentencing date.

Vanderlaan was accused of domestic violence after a Jan. 11 altercation involving his wife.

Related: Ottawa County sheriff's deputy on 'administrative' duty after domestic violence charge

"This altercation turned physical resulting in some minor injuries to his wife, including bruising," state police said in an earlier news release.

The plea was taken under advisement so Ottawa County District Court Judge Craig Bunce can determine whether to sentence Vanderlaan under the Michigan Spousal Abuse Act.

It allows for a judge to place a first-time domestic violence offender on probation. If the person completes the probation, no conviction against the offender will be publicly recorded.

Vanderlaan is assigned to the sheriff's Georgetown Township office and has been with the department for 10 years.













Domestic violence charge against Sheriff's deputy
Ottawa County Sheriff's Office, Michigan State Police investigated
Holland Sentinel
Posted Feb 07, 2013 @ 10:22 AM
Last update Feb 07, 2013 @ 12:12 PM
http://www.hollandsentinel.com/news/x1037506114/Domestic-violence-charge-against-Sheriffs-deputy

Ottawa County — Ottawa County Undersheriff Greg Steigenga has confirmed that a Deputy Michael VanderLaan as been charged with domestic violence in Hudsonville's 58th District Court.

VanderLaan, who typically works as a road patrol officer, has been with the Sheriff's Office for 10 years.

The Sheriff's Office contacted Michigan State Police as well as conducted an internal investigation into the accusation, Steigenga said. VanderLaan was suspended during the investigations and is currently on administrative-only duties until the court case is resolved, Steigenga said.

Michigan State Police detectives from the Rockford Post started investigating VanderLaan at the request of the Ottawa County Sheriff's Department on January 11 and he was arraigned on Jan. 23 and charged with one count of misdemeanor domestic violence, according to a court records.

Steigenga said internal investigations happen "infrequently,"

"When it reaches to the point of a criminal investigation, we contact the State Police," he said repeating that, while such investigations are infrequent, "these things happen from time to time and that's why we wanted to be upfront about it."

               









Ottawa Co. Deputy Taken Off Patrol During Investigation
Thursday, February 07, 2013 7:02 a.m. EST
WHTC Radio
http://whtc.com/news/articles/2013/feb/07/ottawa-co-deputy-taken-off-patrol-during-investigation/


WEST OLIVE, MI (WHTC) - The Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department has placed 10-year veteran deputy Michael VanderLaan on administrative duty pending the final disposition of a misdemeanor domestic violence count against him. The 41-year-old lawman was charged two weeks ago following an alleged scuffle with his estranged wife, who has since filed for divorce. VanderLaan had been assigned to patrol Georgetown Township before the incident.              











Ottawa County Sheriff employee charged with domestic violence
7:28 PM, Feb 6, 2013
WZZM NEWS, Channel 13
http://www.wzzm13.com/news/article/242065/2/Ottawa-Co-sheriff-deputy-charged-with-domestic-violence



OTTAWA COUNTY, Mich. (WZZM) - An employee of the Ottawa County Sheriff's Department is facing misdemeanor domestic violence charges.

Michael VanderLaan was arraigned Wednesday in 58th District Court in Hudsonville,.

Michigan State Police started investigating VanderLaan at the request of the Ottawa County Sheriff's Department on January 11. Investigators say a verbal altercation between VanderLaan and his wife became physical resulting in minor injuries, including bruising to his wife.

According to the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office website, Deputy VanderLaan serves as a paramedic in Georgetown Township.

               











Deputy facing domestic violence charges
February 06, 2013
4:15pm
WWMT NEWS
http://www.wwmt.com/shared/newsroom/top-stories/stories/wwmt_deputy-facing-domestic-violence-charges-7648.shtml



OTTAWA COUNTY, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) – An Ottawa County deputy is facing a domestic violence charge.


The Michigan State Police conducted the investigation against Michael VanderLaan, who is a patrol deputy. VanderLaan was suspended during the investigation, but has now been assigned to administrative duties.

According to a statement from the Michigan State Police released on Wednesday, investigators said there was a verbal altercation between VanderLaan and his wife which turned physical.

His wife reportedly sustained some minor injuries, including bruising.

Investigators say that VanderLaan faces a misdemeanor domestic violence charge. He was arraigned last month.

The sheriff says that VanderLaan has been with the force for 10 years.













Ottawa County sheriff's deputy on 'administrative' duty after domestic violence charge
By John Tunison
The Grand Rapids Press
February 06, 2013 at 3:06 PM
Updated February 06, 2013 at 3:50 PM
http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2013/02/ottawa_county_deputy_on_admini.html


OTTAWA COUNTY, MI -- An Ottawa County sheriff's deputy assigned to Georgetown Township is on "administrative assignment" after he was charged last month with domestic violence.

Michael VanderLaan, a 10-year deputy with the department, was charged with domestic violence on Jan. 23 following a state police investigation earlier that month.

Police were called Jan. 11 to a domestic violence complaint and discovered that a verbal altercation happened between VanderLaan, 41, and his wife.

"This altercation turned physical resulting in some minor injuries to his wife, including bruising," state police said in a news release.

Ottawa County prosecutors issued a warrant against VanderLaan for misdemeanor domestic violence after the police investigation.

He was suspended as a patrol deputy after the Jan. 11 call and has been assigned to administrative duties "pending a disposition through the court process," Ottawa County Undersheriff Greg Steigenga said in a prepared statement.

"The Sheriff's Office has been committed to a thorough and objective investigative process in this matter," Steigenga said in the statement.

Court records show that VanderLaan's wife filed for divorce on Jan. 21.












Ottawa County deputy arrested, charged
Michael VanderLaan allegedy bruised wife
Updated: Wednesday, 06 Feb 2013, 3:02 PM EST
Published : Wednesday, 06 Feb 2013, 1:58 PM EST
WOOD TV 8
By Leon Hendrix
http://www.woodtv.com/dpp/news/local/ottawa_county/ottawa-county-deputy-arrested-charged


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - An Ottawa County sheriff's deputy has been charged with domestic violence in the county where he served as an officer.

Michael VanderLaan was arraigned two weeks ago following a Jan. 11 incident that resulted in "minor injuries" and "bruising" to the officer's wife, Michigan State Police said.

VanderLaan has been with the sheriff's department for 10 years, said Ottawa County Undersheriff Greg Steigenga.

"The Sheriff’s Office has been committed to a thorough and objective investigative process in this matter and it will be dealt with accordingly in an effort to maintain the level of professionalism that the public has come to expect from this agency," Steigenga said in a release Wednesday.

As a condition of his bond, VanderLaan is not allowed to carry a firearm.

After he was suspended for a time during the investigation, VanderLaan is now back to work in an "administrative assignment role pending a disposition through the court process," Steigenga said.

VanderLaan was charged with a misdemeanor in Ottawa County court.. State police said he was arrested but was not taken to jail -- as is standard procedure in cases involving minor charges and a cooperative suspect.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Councilman Tim Shannon - Charged - Murder of Lee-Ann - Hart



On December 31, 2012 Lee-Ann Shannon drowned in the bathtub at her home.  Her husband,  Hart City Councilman Timothy Shannon has been charged with her murder.


Also See:








Lee-Ann Shannon murder - Councilman Timothy Shannon - Hart, Michigan - December 29, 2012

 

Councilman Tim Shannon - Charged - Murder of Lee-Ann - January 11, 2013
http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2012/12/hart-councilman-timothy-shannon-charged.html

 

Councilman Tim Shannon - Convicted / Plea Bargain - Murder of Lee-Ann - June 03, 2013
http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2013/06/councilman-tim-shannon-convicted-plea.html

 

Councilman Tim Shannon - Sentenced - Murder of Lee-Ann - July 15, 2013
http://michiganoidv.blogspot.com/2013/07/councilman-tim-shannon-sentenced-murder.html






News Articles are below videos and pictures



 http://www.tatekingfuneralhome.com/fh/obituaries/obituary.cfm?o_id=1889355&fh_id=10968










http://thetributecenter.com/tributeplayer/default.aspx?webvideoID=7502#/WebPlayerPage















































                       























































































































































































.



































































































































































Hart city councilman Tim Shannon's murder trial scheduled in wife's bathtub drowning
By John S. Hausman
jhausman@mlive.com
The Muskegon Chronicle
February 14, 2013 at 5:39 PM
Updated February 14, 2013 at 5:40 PM
http://www.mlive.com/news/muskegon/index.ssf/2013/02/hart_city_councilman_tim_shann.html




HART, MI – The murder trial of Hart City Council member Timothy Nathaniel Shannon, who is charged with the bathtub drowning of his wife, has been set for June 19 through 21.

Shannon, 34, is charged with open murder in the Dec. 29 death of Lee-Ann Elizabeth Shannon, 34.

Autopsy results released on Thursday, Feb. 14, have confirmed that Lee-Ann Shannon’s cause of death was drowning, Oceana County Prosecutor Joseph J. Bizon said Thursday. That was an issue at Shannon’s preliminary examination Jan. 22 in Oceana County 78th District Court, when Shannon’s court-appointed attorney argued that the absence of an official cause of death made the murder charge premature.

Shannon’s trial will be before Oceana County 27th Circuit Judge Terrence R. Thomas.

At Shannon’s preliminary examination Jan. 22, two police detectives testified that Shannon told them he held his wife underwater in their bathtub until she died, after she angrily pulled him into the tub with her.

Shannon allegedly told detectives that he had approached his wife while she was in the bathtub the morning of Dec. 29, allegedly after she had drunk a large amount of wine and grain alcohol. She was upset because Tim Shannon was asking for a divorce, he allegedly told police.

Jamie Hathaway, whom Bizon called Tim Shannon’s “mistress,” testified at that hearing that she was moving into the Shannons’ home on Dec. 29.

Hathaway said Tim Shannon was preparing to divorce his wife and that Lee-Ann Shannon was due to leave the home that day at his insistence, allegedly because of what he called her alcoholism.

The death was reported initially as an accidental drowning at the couple’s home in the 200 block of Courtland Street in the city of Hart.

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.









Shannon resigns city council seat
By John Cavanagh
Herald-Journal Writer
Posted: 1-31-2013
http://www.oceanaheraldjournal.com/news.php?story_id=47826

HART — Hart City Councilman Tim Shannon has resigned his council seat.

The hand-written resignation letter was sent to Hart City Manager Stan Rickard by Springstead Law Offices Jan. 23.

The letter reads, “I, Timothy Shannon, resign from the Hart City Council and any boards and committees I’ve been assigned to January, 15, 2013.”

Council has 30 days to make an appointment to fill the unexpired term. If it does not, the city clerk will be required to schedule a special election. The city council and the mayor did not have the authority to remove or suspend Shannon in the wake of his arrest on an open murder charge in the Dec. 29 death of his wife, Lee-Ann.













9-1-1 call vs. testimony
By Patti Klevorn
Shoreline Media Writer
Posted: 1-31-2013
Oceana's Herald-Journal
http://www.oceanaheraldjournal.com/news.php?story_id=47825

HART — Timothy Shannon called in his wife’s death to 911 at 11:28 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 29.

He admitted to Oceana County Sheriff’s Office detectives he held his wife, Lee-Ann, under water until she was dead, then changed his clothes that had gotten wet in the bathtub, washed them, then called 911.

But Tim originally told the Mason-Oceana 911 dispatcher his wife “passed out drunk in the bathtub and I think she drowned.” He stuck with that story when EMS, Hart Police and an Oceana County medical examiner investigator arrived at his Courtland Street home in Hart on the day of Lee-Ann’s death.

Tim’s girlfriend, Jamie Lee Hathaway, testified Tuesday in 78th District Court she had given him an ultimatum, demanding his wife be out of the house by Dec. 29 so she could move in. She also said during Tim’s preliminary examination she did move in that day, Dec. 29, after Lee-Ann died.

When questioned Jan. 8, Tim’s story changed, detectives testified Tuesday.

He told them he had approached Lee-Ann while she was in the bathtub about getting a divorce and having her move out and the two fought. He ended up holding her down in the tub water then refocusing, letting her go, and seeing her float up, dead.

He was then arrested and has been held without bond in the Oceana County Jail.

Tim’s defense attorney is Doug Springstead, who argued Tuesday the autopsy report is not yet completed and doesn’t yet show a cause of death.

Judge Kevin Drake said there was enough evidence to bind Tim over to 27th Circuit Court on the open murder charge, where he will either make a plea deal or go to trial.

What follows is a transcript of Tim Shannon’s 11:28 a.m.

Dec. 29 call to Mason-Oceana 911, which Shoreline Media received following a request using the Freedom of Information Act.

911: “911”

Tim Shannon: “OK, um, this is Tim Shannon. Um, my wife passed out drunk in the bathtub and I think she drowned.”

911: “OK, is she breathing?”

TS: “No.”

911: “OK, what’s your address?”

TS: “214 South Courtland, Hart.”

911: “How old was your wife?”

TS: “Ah, 34, 33.”

911: When did this happen?”

TS: “I just found her… like now.”

911: “Which… when’s the last time you’ve seen her… I mean…”

TS: “She was still breathing at 9:10 (a.m.)… yeah.”

911: “OK. What’s her name?”

TS: “Lee-Ann. L-E-E-hyphen A-N-N.”

911: “And she was intoxicated at 9 a.m.?”

TS: “Yeah.”

911: “OK, 214 South Courtland. Any apartment there?”

TS: “Nope, the ah, the driveway’s on, um, Church.”

911: “Do you want to attempt CPR, or do you think it’s…”

TS: “Um, her heart’s stopped. She’s…”

911: “What… how warm or cold is she?”

TS: “Um, cold.”

911: “Cold. What’s the water temperature?”

TS: “… I drained it.”

911: “You drained it?”

TS: “It’s the first thing I did. It was lukewarm.”

911: “OK, we’ll get everybody over there for you, OK?”

TS: “OK.”

911: “OK. All right. Goodbye.”

 




City Council Member Faces Trial In Wife’s Drowning
January 26, 2013 8:05 AM
CBS, Detroit
http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2013/01/26/city-council-member-faces-trial-in-wifes-drowning/


HART, Mich. (WWJ/AP) - A city council member in a small Michigan community will stand trial in the bathtub drowning of his wife that was initially reported to authorities as an accident.


Thirty-four-year-old Hart City Council member Timothy Shannon faces an open count of murder in the Dec. 29 death of 34-year-old Lee-Ann Shannon after a judge on Tuesday determined that enough evidence was presented in Oceana County District Court to warrant a trial.

Shannon, who has served on city council since 2011, told police the morning of Dec. 29 that his wife had accidentally drowned at their home in the small community of Hart, about 60 miles northwest of Grand Rapids. Family members of Lee-Ann Shannon, however, raised questions about the death with investigators.

“It is believed the suspect drowned the victim in the tub and attempted to report it as an accidental drowning,” Oceana County Sheriff’s Lt. Craig Mast said.

According to court testimony, Shannon eventually told police that he approached his wife while she was in the bathtub, allegedly after she had consumed a large amount of alcohol, The Muskegon Chronicle reported. Shannon said his wife “became upset he was asking for a divorce” and tried to pull him into the tub.

“Eventually [Shannon] admitted to holding her under the water until he realized she was dead,” a detective testified in court. Another detective testified that Shannon told them he held his wife under water for at least three minutes.

Police say on the day of her death, Shannon’s wife was expected to move out of the family home so his mistress could move in. The mistress allegedly moved out of the home a few days later, however, when Shannon asked her to leave “because he needed time to heal,” police said.

The Shannons have no known history of domestic violence, but family members allegedly told police there were marital problems. They were married in 2006 and have two children, ages 3 and 4.









Detectives testify Shannon admits to drowning wife
By Patti Klevorn
Shoreline Media Writer
Posted: 1-23-2013
Oceana's Herald-Journal
http://www.oceanaheraldjournal.com/news.php?story_id=47772

HART — Timothy Shannon told two Oceana County detectives, they testified Tuesday, he held his wife, Lee-Ann, under water until she was dead Dec. 29 in the bathtub in their Hart home.

Tim’s mistress, Jamie Hathaway, testified that was the day she told Tim she wanted Lee-Ann out of the house so she could move in, and told the court she did move in the same day Lee-Ann had died.

78th District Court Judge Kevin Drake bound Timothy over to 27th Circuit Court after hearing the evidence in Tim’s preliminary examination on an open murder charge.

Tim, 34, was led back to the Oceana County Jail, where he remains held without bond. The incident was initially reported as an accidental drowning, and Tim was not arrested until Jan. 8 following an interview with Oceana County Sheriff’s Office detectives.

Hart Police officer Juan Salazar told the court Tuesday Tim had a cup of coffee in his hand when he arrived on the scene Dec. 29. Salazar said that and Tim’s lack of emotion and calm demeanor seemed strange.

In a preliminary examination, the judge looks for probable cause to determine a crime has been committed, and the defendant committed the crime. Drake said there is a victim in this case, Lee-Ann Shannon, and that she was “probably” drowned by the defendant, as Oceana Prosecuting Attorney Joe Bizon was aiming to show. It’s not until trial stage the prosecution must present evidence “beyond a reasonable doubt” for a conviction.











City council member faces trial in wife's drowning
January 23, 2013
1:35 pm
WWMT
http://www.wwmt.com/shared/newsroom/top-stories/stories/wwmt_city-council-member-faces-trial-wifes-drowning-7284.shtml




HART, Mich. (AP) - A city council member in a small western Michigan community will stand trial in the bathtub drowning of his wife.

Thirty-four-year-old Hart City Council member Timothy Shannon faces an open count of murder in the Dec. 29 death of 34-year-old Lee-Ann Shannon.

He told police his wife accidentally drowned and he tried to revive her.

A judge on Tuesday determined that enough evidence was presented during a preliminary examination in Oceana County District Court to warrant a trial.

The Shannons were married in 2006 and have two children, ages 3 and 4.











Gallery: Murder suspect Timothy Nathaniel Shannon appears in court
Ken Stevens @ MLive
MLIVE
January 22, 2013
http://photos.mlive.com/4474/gallery/murder_suspect_timothy_nathaniel_shannon_appears_in_court_on_january_22_2013/index.html


Description: Former Hart City Council member Timothy Nathaniel Shannon appeared in Oceana County's 78th District Court in Hart for his preliminary exam on January 22, 2013. Shannon has been charged with drowning his wife of six years, Lee-Ann Elizabeth Shannon, 34, in the couple’s bathtub in Hart on December 29, 2012.

































































Police: Hart city councilman said he held wife underwater in bathtub until she died (video)
By John S. Hausman
jhausman@mlive.com
The Muskegon Chronicle
January 22, 2013 at 9:20 PM,
Updated January 22, 2013 at 9:37 PM
http://www.mlive.com/news/muskegon/index.ssf/2013/01/police_hart_city_councilman_sa.html







HART, MI – Hart City Councilman Timothy Nathaniel Shannon told police he held his wife underwater in their bathtub until she died, after she angrily pulled him into the tub with her, two detectives testified Tuesday.

That -- and testimony by a woman the prosecutor called Shannon’s “mistress” -- highlighted a probable-cause hearing for Shannon in Oceana County 78th District Court.

At the end of the hearing, called a preliminary examination, District Judge H. Kevin Drake ruled that the case against Shannon was strong enough to take to trial. Drake ordered Shannon bound over to 27th Circuit Court for trial and continued to deny bond.

Shannon, 34, of Hart is charged with open murder in the Dec. 29 death of his wife, Lee-Ann Elizabeth Shannon, 34.

The incident was reported initially as an accidental drowning at the couple’s home in the 200 block of Courtland Street in the city of Hart.

But Detective Shane Hasty of the Oceana County Sheriff’s Office testified that he learned otherwise when he interviewed Tim Shannon. Hasty began investigating the death Jan. 7 after the Hart Police Department referred the case to the sheriff’s office because of Shannon’s position as an elected city official.

“Eventually he admitted to holding her under the water until he realized she was dead,” Hasty testified.

Hasty said Shannon told detectives that he had approached his wife while she was in the bathtub the morning of Dec. 29, allegedly after she had drunk a large amount of wine and grain alcohol.

“She became upset he was asking for a divorce,” Hasty testified that Shannon told police.

“He stated that she began striking him. She was able to pull him on top of her when she was in the tub. When he was able to refocus he realized that he was holding her down,” Hasty testified Shannon said, holding his arms crossed in front of him.

“He likened it to (the motion) of a teeter-totter,” Hasty said. “Most of his weight was over the edge of the tub. His feet would have been in the air.”

He testified Shannon said he bumped his head during the struggle.

Hasty said “he then sat back and realized what had occurred. He then changed his clothes,” putting his wet clothes in the washer, and drained the bathtub. Shannon told police he then waited around the house “for some time” before calling 911 to report the supposedly accidental drowning.

Oceana County Sheriff’s Detective Mark Schneider, who was part of the same interview, testified similarly.

“At one point I believe he said it was three minutes” that he held his wife underwater, Schneider testified.

That alleged scene came around mid-morning of the day Lee-Ann Shannon was due to leave home at her husband’s insistence, to be replaced by Tim Shannon’s lover, who actually did move in that day, according to other testimony.

Jamie Hathaway, whom Oceana County Prosecutor Joseph J. Bizon referred to as Tim Shannon’s “mistress,” testified for the prosecution.

Hathaway said she had lived in the Shannons’ home from October 2011 to May 2012 after being invited in by Lee-Ann Shannon, to help Hathaway deal with unstated “issues” she was having while a college student. Hathaway said she had met and befriended Tim Shannon in the summer of 2011.

Hathaway said she and Tim Shannon began a sexual relationship in April 2012. She moved from their home at Lee-Ann Shannon’s insistence about a month later, she testified.

She said her “close friendship” with Tim Shannon continued, including occasional sexual relations, up to the time he was arrested Jan. 8.

Late last year, she testified, she and Tim Shannon planned for her to return to live with him at the Shannons’ home. She said he was preparing to divorce his wife and that Lee-Ann Shannon was due to leave the home Dec. 29 at his insistence, allegedly because of what he called her alcoholism.

Hathaway said she showed up at the house the morning of Dec. 29 to pick up the Shannons’ young daughter, so the little girl wouldn’t be there when Lee-Ann Shannon was moving out in case there was an ugly scene.

“I can’t be sure” she was alive when Hathaway left with the Shannons’ daughter, she testified. “I heard her snoring (in the downstairs bathroom) when I first walked in. I didn’t hear her snoring when I walked out. … I never saw her.”

Hathaway said she did move in later that day, living with Shannon until a few days later when he asked her to leave “because he needed time to heal.”

Hart Police Officer Juan Salazar testified that he responded Dec. 29 around 11:30 a.m. to Tim Shannon’s report of his wife’s supposedly accidental drowning. He said Shannon called her death accidental and Salazar had no reason to suspect foul play.

He said Shannon answered the door holding a cup of coffee and seemed unemotional.

Janice Schiller, an investigator for the Oceana County medical examiner, testified that she responded shortly afterward and saw no obvious signs of foul play. She said the cause of death appeared to be drowning.

Bizon, the prosecutor, argued for Shannon to be bound over for trial.

“The admission of the defendant is that he pushed her under the water … on the day he’s moving his mistress into the home and moving his wife out,” Bizon said.

“There is evidence he had this planned out,” Bizon argued, including having his daughter “removed from the home by the mistress prior to this occuring.”

Public defender Douglas Springstead argued against sending the case to trial. He noted that autopsy results aren’t back yet, leaving, he argued, Lee-Ann Shannon’s cause of death unknown from any evidence outside Tim Shannon’s alleged admissions to police. That would be a violation of the “corpus delecti” rule that requires there to be evidence that a crime was committed before a defendant’s confession can be considered.

“What we haven’t heard today is, what was the cause of death?” Springstead asked.

Drake disagreed, calling drowning the “probable cause” of death. The judge found probable cause that a homicide had been committed and that Shannon had committed it.

A charge of open murder could lead either to acquittal or to conviction of first- or second-degree murder or manslaughter.












Hearing for city council member in wife's drowning
Published : Tuesday, 22 Jan 2013, 8:19 PM EST
WOOD TV NEWS
http://www.woodtv.com/dpp/news/michigan/ap_michigan/Hearing-for-city-council-member-in-wifes-drowning_13251055

HART, Mich. (AP) — A hearing has begun on whether a city council member in a small western Michigan community should stand trial in the bathtub drowning of his wife.

Thirty-four-year-old Hart City Council member Timothy Shannon faces an open count of murder in the Dec. 29 death of 34-year-old Lee-Ann Shannon.

He told police his wife accidentally drowned and he tried to revive her.

A police officer and an emergency medical technician testified Tuesday during the first day of a preliminary examination in Oceana County District Court. He judge will decide if there's enough evidence to send the case to trial.

The Shannons were married in 2006 and have two children, ages 3 and 4.











Hart councilman facing trial for wife's murder
Jan 22, 2013 at 1:42 PM
WZZM 13 NEWS
http://www.wzzm13.com/video/2112659669001/0/Hart-councilman-facing-trial-for-wifes-murder







HART, Mich. (WZZM) -- City councilman Timothy Shannon will stand trial for the December murder of his wife, a judge ordered late Tuesday, after testimony that Shannon had admitted to holding his wife underwater, and that his girlfriend spent the night in the home immediately after the wife had died.


The hearing was to determine if there was enough evidence for a trial against Shannon, 34, who was arrested following the December 29 drowning of his wife, Lee Ann, 34. Shannon is facing an open murder charge.

The woman's death was initially reported as an accidental drowning.

Tuesday's testimony began with the Hart Police officer who first answered the call of a drowning at the Shannons' home on Courtland


 Street. The officer told the judge Shannon met him at the door with no visible emotion, holding a coffee cup, then led him inside. According to the officer, Shannon said he had found his wife underwater in their bathtub, and had tried to revive her before calling police. Shannon also told the officer he had drained water out of the bathtub before emergency crews arrived.

But two Oceana County Sheriff's Department detectives testified Tuesday that Shannon later admitted under questioning he had held his wife underwater in the bathtub in self defense. Shannon told the investigators his wife had drunk a lot of wine, and that she had struck him, causing him to hit his head and fall into the tub on top of her. Shannon reportedly told detectives his wife held him there in a bear hug, and that he held her under water for about three minutes before realizing what he had done.



One of the witnesses was Jamie Hathaway, who said she was Timothy Shannon's girlfriend. She testified she had met the Hart councilman at his job at a local market, and that they developed a friendship that later became romantic. Lee Ann invited Hathaway to move into the Shannon home in October 2011, where she stayed until April 2012. Hathaway said her romantic relationship with Timothy Shannon began that April, and continued until his arrest.


Hathaway told the court she had spent the night in the Shannon home on December 29, not long after Lee Ann Shannon had died there. The witness testified that she and Shannon had been planning for her to move in on that date, and that she had been transferring her belongings from Muskegon to a shed behind the Shannons' home. According to Hathaway, Shannon had told her Lee Ann would be moving out on December 29. In preparation, Hathaway said she spent the days leading up to the 29th staying in a room at the Comfort Inn in Hart.

Shannon is being held in the Oceana County jail without bond. No date has been set for his case in Circuit Court.

Reported by Jon Mills in Hart.











MLive and The Muskegon Chronicle plan live coverage of Hart city councilman's murder hearing
By John S. Hausman
The Muskegon Chronicle
January 21, 2013 at 2:55 PM, updated January 21, 2013 at 2:56 PM
http://www.mlive.com/news/muskegon/index.ssf/2013/01/mlive_and_the_muskegon_chronic_1.html


HART, MI – MLive and The Muskegon Chronicle plan to offer live coverage of Tuesday’s courtroom hearing for Timothy Nathaniel Shannon, the Hart City Council member charged with murder for allegedly drowning his wife in their bathtub.

Shannon’s preliminary examination in Oceana County 78th District Court is scheduled for 3 p.m. Jan. 22. That’s a hearing at which a district judge hears evidence and decides if a felony case is strong enough to send to trial in circuit court.

MLive and the Chronicle will cover the hearing it as it happens.

Shannon, 34, is charged with open murder in the Dec. 29 death of Lee-Ann Elizabeth Shannon, 34, his wife of six years. He is being held without bond in the Oceana County Jail.

The incident was reported initially as an accidental drowning around 11:30 a.m. Dec. 29 at the couple’s home in the 200 block of Courtland Street in the city of Hart. Police said the autopsy report lists her cause of death as drowning.

Oceana County Sheriff’s Office investigators allege the couple were having marital problems and that Timothy Shannon was having an affair with a woman renting a room in the Shannons' home. That woman is not considered a suspect in Lee-Ann Shannon’s death.


 


Attorneys with council ties see no conflicts
By John Cavanagh
Herald-Journal Writer
Posted: 1-16-2013
Both Oceana County Prosecutor Joe Bizon and Tim Shannon’s defense attorney Doug Springstead agree that they don’t have a conflict of interest as the murder charge against Shannon moves forward.

Bizon’s wife, Sara, serves as city council member, and Springstead is the city attorney.

“I don’t see any conflict. If I did, I would get out,” Springstead said.

Bizon said if there was a conflict of interest, he not only would be required to recuse himself, but his entire office would have to recuse and a special prosecutor brought in to prosecute the case. Springstead said as the city attorney, he represents the city as a whole, the city manager and possibly the mayor, but not the individual council members. His office was appointed by the 78th District Court to represent Shannon in the murder case.







Hart councilman charged with murder
From Shoreline Media reports
Oceana's Herald Journal
Posted: 1-16-2013
http://www.oceanaheraldjournal.com/news.php?story_id=47722

HART — Infidelity and marital strife are the latest allegations to come out against Hart City Councilman Tim Shannon, who is accused of drowning his wife, Lee-Ann, Dec. 29 in the bathtub of the couple’s home on Courtland Street in the City of Hart.

Timothy Shannon, 34, was arrested by the Oceana County Sheriff’s Department following an interview with detectives Jan. 8. He was arraigned on one count of open murder Jan. 9 and is being held in the Oceana County Jail without bond. An autopsy showed Lee-Ann Shannon died from drowning, Hart City Police Chief Dan Leimback said.

The incident was initially reported as an accidental drowning, but following interviews with Lee-Ann Shannon’s family members things didn’t add up, said Leimback, who asked the sheriff’s department to assist in the investigation. Leimback and sheriff’s department Lt. Craig Mast both said there was no known history of domestic issues between the Shannons, but Lee-Ann Shannon’s family members indicated there had been marital problems.










Court hearing set for Hart City Council member charged with murdering wife in bathtub
By John S. Hausman
The Muskegon Chronicle
January 14, 2013 at 6:33 PM

http://www.mlive.com/news/muskegon/index.ssf/2013/01/court_hearing_set_for_hart_cit.html


HART, MI – The preliminary examination for Timothy Nathaniel Shannon, the Hart City Council member accused of drowning his wife in their bathtub, has been scheduled for 3 p.m. Jan. 22.

That hearing will take place in Oceana County's 78th District Court in Hart.

A preliminary examination is a courtroom hearing at which a district judge hears witness testimony and views evidence about a felony case, then decides if the case is strong enough to send to trial.

Shannon, 34, is charged with open murder in the Dec. 29 death of Lee-Ann Elizabeth Shannon, 34, his wife of six years. He is being held without bond in the Oceana County Jail.

The incident was reported initially as an accidental drowning around 11:30 a.m. Dec. 29 at the couple’s home in the 200 block of Courtland Street in the city of Hart. Police said the autopsy report lists her cause of death as drowning.

Oceana County Sheriff’s Office investigators allege the couple were having marital problems and that Timothy Shannon was having an affair with a woman renting a room in the Shannons' home. That woman is not considered a suspect in Lee-Ann Shannon’s death.







Hart City Councilor Tim Shannon Makes a Resolution...To Use City Water to Cut Back on Expenditures and Liabilities
The Ludington Torch
January 12, 2013
10:06PM

http://ludingtoncitizen.ning.com/forum/topics/hart-city-councilor


You may have already heard this story, it was reported by WOOD just before 1 PM on Wednesday and picked up by WZZM and the Muskegon Chronicle later that day. A Hart City Councilor is alleged to have drowned his wife in the bathtub of their home, pending a divorce and a mistress in waiting.


The City of Ludington Daily News (COLDNews) finally posted the story the next day, that in itself being odd since their media holdings include the Oceana Herald Journal based right in the center of Hart. They did get an interview with the Mayor: Hart Mayor Ron LaPorte said he was shocked by the arrest, as is everyone he’s talked to.

“To all of us, it’s not the Tim Shannon we know,” LaPorte said. “It’s totally out of character for him. Nobody would expect that.”

LaPorte said he saw Tim at a committee meeting Monday night and the normally quiet man was a little more vocal than he had been at other meetings.

“This guy was straight-laced, down-to-earth, a by-the-book type of person,” LaPorte said. “That’s why it’s so shocking to us all.” COLDNews article

Mayor LaPorte forgot to mention that Councilor Shannon would never think of doing anything as significant as murder without a quorum of councilors present.

Here is the WOOD story and WZZM video:



http://youtu.be/TggW9E0fzNg  











Investigators: City councilman made wife's drowning look like accident
Posted: 01.10.2013 at 3:44 PM
Up North Live
http://www.upnorthlive.com/news/story.aspx?id=846293




HART (AP) -- A city council member in a Hart, in Oceana County, has been charged with open murder in the bathtub drowning of his wife.

Timothy Shannon, 34, was arraigned Wednesday in the death of 34-year-old Lee-Ann Shannon. He was ordered held without bond and a preliminary hearing is Jan. 14.

The Oceana County sheriff's department says Thursday it didn't know whether he had a lawyer.

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.

Timothy Shannon was held after a Tuesday interview with investigators.

The Shannons were married for 6 years and have two children, ages 3 and 4.











Hart city council member charged in wife's drowning
11:21 AM, January 10, 2013
Detroit Free Press
http://www.freep.com/article/20130110/NEWS06/130110027/Hart-city-council-member-charged-in-wife-s-drowning

HART — A city council member in a small west Michigan community has been charged with open murder in the bathtub drowning of his wife that he initially reported to authorities as an accident.

Timothy Shannon, 34, of Hart was arraigned Wednesday in the Dec. 29 death of 34-year-old Lee-Ann Shannon, the Ludington Daily News and the Muskegon Chronicle reported. He was ordered held without bond and a preliminary hearing was scheduled for Jan. 14.

A message seeking comment was left Thursday with attorney Doug Springstead, who is representing Shannon.

Martha Ann Piegols of Hart, who identified herself as Timothy Shannon's grandmother, said she "had no thoughts" to share about his arrest.



Shannon, who has served on the city council since 2011, told police the morning of Dec. 29 that his wife had accidentally drowned at their home in the Oceana County community, about 60 miles northwest of Grand Rapids. Family members of Lee-Ann Shannon, however, raised questions about the death with investigators.


Shannon was detained following a Tuesday interview with investigators.

"It is believed the suspect drowned the victim in the tub and attempted to report it as an accidental drowning," Oceana County sheriff's Lt. Craig Mast said.


Shannon had recently retained an attorney to handle a possible divorce from his wife, Mast said. Investigators also believe he had an affair with a woman in her 30s who used to rent a room at the Shannons' home, Mast said.


The woman has been interviewed in the case but is not considered a suspect, Mast said.

Police in Hart handled the case along with the sheriff's department.

The Shannons were married in 2006 and have two children, ages 3 and 4. Lee-Ann Shannon was a graduate of Spring Arbor College, earning her bachelor's degree in early education. She volunteered at Hart Public Schools' Early Childhood Center.

Police: Hart city councilman accused of drowning wife had affair with female tenant living in their home
Published: Thursday, January 10, 2013, 9:40 AM
Updated: Thursday, January 10, 2013, 2:14 PM
By Heather Lynn Peters
The Muskegon Chronicle
http://www.mlive.com/news/muskegon/index.ssf/2013/01/police_hart_city_councilman_ac.html


OCEANA COUNTY, MI – It turns out things at the Shannon household in the city of Hart, where a woman was allegedly killed, were much more complicated than anyone knew, police said.

An open investigation led by Oceana County Sheriff’s Office officials is revealing the marriage between Hart City Councilman Timothy Shannon and his pretty, wavy-haired wife, Lee-Ann Elizabeth Shannon, both 34, was indeed crumbling in recent months.

Timothy Shannon has been charged with open murder for allegedly drowning his wife of six years -- and the mother of their two young toddlers -- in the couple’s bathtub on Dec. 29.

Timothy Shannon was allegedly having an affair with a woman renting a room inside the Shannons' home prior to his wife's drowning death, police said.

"Anger turned to a crime of passion," said Sheriff's Lt. Craig Mast.

The investigation is revealing that much of the turmoil between the Shannons was caused by “a third party,” Mast said.

Mast confirmed Thursday that Timothy Shannon was having an affair with a woman in her 30s who had been renting a room from the Shannons in the months prior to the Dec. 29 incident.

The woman was considered a “boarder,” staying at the Shannons' neat, two-story Courtland Street home for quite some time before things between the Shannons got messy, Mast said.

The home is nestled in a quiet Hart neighborhood.

“It appears this young lady had a critical role in their pending divorce,” Mast said.

Mast said investigators just recently learned that Timothy Shannon had retained an attorney to handle a possible divorce from his wife.

The other woman, who Mast declined to name because she isn’t considered a suspect in Lee-Ann Shannon’s death, has been interviewed and has since left the Oceana County area.

Authorities aren’t actively trying to locate her as they have already interviewed her regarding her relationship with Timothy Shannon, Mast said.

Timothy Shannon hasn’t denied the affair with the woman, Mast said, and thought he could set up the “perfect murder” by reporting her death as an accidental drowning on Dec. 29.

"It's complicated, but simple too," Mast said. "Their lives got really involved."

RELATED: Shocking news for Hart: City council member charged drowning wife in bathtub

The autopsy report shows Lee-Ann Shannon’s cause of death is drowning. She had some alcohol in her system at the time of death, which Mast said Timothy Shannon attempted to use as a way to prove she may have drowned herself.

However, Mast said there isn’t any reason to believe she had enough alcohol in her system that would have caused her to drown in the tub that night.

Mast didn’t know off-hand what her blood alcohol level was at the time of death, but noted that she “certainly didn’t drink herself to death” or become so intoxicated that she could have drown in the tub accidentally.

In the meantime, Mast said the sheriff’s office police report is still being accumulated and evidence, such as computers from the Shannon home and cellphones, are being reviewed by investigators.

Mast said authorities were aware that the other woman was living in the Shannon home and speculated there may be trouble brewing as they were called to the residence in May 2012 on a “domestic assault” between Timothy Shannon and the woman living there.

Police were called to the home after the woman and Timothy Shannon had some sort of confrontation outside the home, Mast said.

Mast said Lee-Ann Shannon wasn’t there at the time. The other woman was arrested for assault and battery for allegedly hitting Timothy Shannon with her purse.

Mast said it isn’t clear how long the woman lived there or when she moved out of the home.

The details of that relationship are still being pieced together, he said.

Timothy Shannon has been arraigned, being held without bond at the Oceana County Jail. He has retained attorney Doug Springstead to represent him in the case, Mast said.

A memorial service for Lee-Ann Shannon, an early childhood education assistant, was held on Jan. 4. She’s been described as a loving, doting mother to the couple’s 3- and 4-year-old children – a boy and a girl.

Those children are currently being cared for by family members, Mast said.










City councilman charged with drowning wife in bathtub in Hart
8:26 AM, Jan 10, 2013
WZZM
http://www.wzzm13.com/news/article/238192/2/City-councilman-charged-with-drowning-wife-in-bathtub-in-Hart






http://youtu.be/TggW9E0fzNg      









City Council Member Charged In Wife’s Drowning
January 10, 2013 7:40 AM
CBS, Detroit
http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2013/01/10/city-council-member-charged-in-wifes-drowning/



HART, Mich. (WWJ/AP) – A city council member in a small Michigan community has been charged with open murder in the bathtub drowning of his wife that was initially reported to authorities as an accident.

Authorities say 34-year-old Timothy Shannon, of Hart, was arraigned Wednesday in the death of 34-year-old Lee-Ann Shannon. He was ordered held without bond and is due back in court for a preliminary hearing on Jan. 14.

Shannon, who has served on city council since 2011, told police the morning of Dec. 29 that his wife had accidentally drowned at their home in the small community of Hart, about 60 miles northwest of Grand Rapids. Family members of Lee-Ann Shannon, however, raised questions about the death with investigators.

Shannon was detained following a Tuesday interview with investigators.

“It is believed the suspect drowned the victim in the tub and attempted to report it as an accidental drowning,” Oceana County Sheriff’s Lt. Craig Mast said.

Police in Hart handled the case along with the sheriff’s department. Specifics about the circumstances surround the death weren’t immediately released.

The Shannons have no known history of domestic violence, but family members allegedly told police there were marital problems. They were married in 2006 and have two children, ages 3 and 4.







Murder suspect arraigned in Hart
Posted: 1-9-2013
Oceana's Herald-Journal
http://www.oceanaheraldjournal.com/news.php?story_id=47642

Hart City Councilman Timothy Shannon, 34, of Hart, was arraigned Wednesday on one count of open murder in connection with the Dec. 29 death of his wife, Lee-Ann Shannon, 34, of Hart.

Oceana County Sheriff’s Department Lt. Craig Mast said sheriff’s deputies and Hart City Police were dispatched to the scene at 214 S. Courtland St., Hart about midday Dec. 29 for a dead on arrival complaint where Lee-Ann Shannon was found dead in the bathtub. Mast said Timothy Shannon attempted to report the incident as an accidental drowning, but following interviews police believe the Timothy Shannon intentionally drowned Lee-Ann and tried to make it look like an accident. Timothy Shannon was arrested late Tuesday afternoon and is being held without bond in the Oceana County Jail.










Shocking news for Hart: City council member charged with drowning wife in bathtub
Published: Wednesday, January 09, 2013, 8:26 PM
Updated: Wednesday, January 09, 2013, 9:50 PM
By Heather Lynn Peters
The Muskegon Chronicle
http://www.mlive.com/news/muskegon/index.ssf/2013/01/shocking_news_for_hart_city_co.html




HART, MI – Residents of this small Oceana County town are shocked at the news that Hart City Council member Timothy Nathaniel Shannon has been charged with drowning his wife in the couple’s bathtub.

Shannon, 34, was arraigned Wednesday on a charge of open murder in the Dec. 29 death of Lee-Ann Elizabeth Shannon, 34, his wife of six years. He is being held without bond in the Oceana County Jail.

Oceana County Sheriff’s Lt. Craig Mast said the incident was reported initially as an accidental drowning around 11:30 a.m. Dec. 29 at the couple’s home in the 200 block of Courtland Street in the city of Hart. Police said the autopsy report lists her cause of death as drowning.

The Hart Police Department initially investigated the death but soon called in the Oceana County Sheriff’s Office because Tim Shannon is a Hart City Council member, Oceana County Prosecutor Joseph Bizon said.

“It is believed the suspect drowned the victim in the tub and attempted to report it as an accidental drowning. After Oceana County detectives interviewed the suspect (Tuesday) evening, he was then lodged for homicide,” according to a press release from the Oceana County Sheriff’s Office.

As the investigation unfolded, Sheriff's Det. Shane Hasty said, police became certain the case was a homicide.

“Adults don’t drown in bathtubs,” Hasty said.

He would not comment on whether Shannon admitted to killing his wife. Bizon, the prosecutor, also would not comment on specifics of the investigation.

Bizon praised police for their work on the case.

“I’m really grateful for the work of the Hart city police force and the Oceana County sheriff’s department for not letting this sift through the cracks,” Bizon said. “They did a wonderful job of investigating this. I just give them a lot of credit for doing a very professional job.”

The couple have a son and daughter, 3 and 4 years old. Hasty said the children are under the care of their grandparents.

Lee-Ann Shannon was a loving mother to her children and devoted her time to Hart Public Schools’ Head Start program, an official said.

Those who knew her were shocked to learn Wednesday that her husband has been charged in her death.

Jodi Munoz, director of Early Childhood Programs for Hart Public Schools, said her staff is “just devastated” at the news. Lee-Ann Shannon worked there with Munoz for more than a year.

“It’s pretty shocking. We’re having a hard time dealing with it,” Munoz said. “She was very involved in paying it forward. She was very involved in her kids’ education. We will miss her. She was a great, great parent and involved with her children. She was all about her kids.”

City Manager Stan Rickard didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment Wednesday, and other city officials declined to comment.

Shannon has been on the city council since 2011. He was elected unopposed May 3 of that year, receiving 85 votes.

Martha Ann Piegols of Hart, who identified herself as Timothy Shannon’s grandmother, declined to give a statement about his arrest.

“I have no thoughts on that,” she said.

Lee-Ann Shannon is survived by her mother, Irene Chaffin of Shelby, and brother, Tom Chaffin, in Texas. She was a graduate of Spring Arbor College and had a bachelor’s degree in early education. According to her obituary, she attended First Baptist Church of Hart.

She was preceded in death by her father, Robert Chaffin.

Munoz said Lee-Ann Shannon was very hands-on with her children.

“She attended every playgroup that we had on Fridays. She was very involved with her children. She was on our parent committee and represented our program in the Muskegon area,” Munoz said.

Meanwhile, Munoz said the staff is trying hard to provide the Shannon children with some normalcy in the meantime.

“The children were in class today, which is good,” Munoz said. “We are hoping they will continue to attend here. We are trying to keep the children’s lives as normal as possible. We will miss her.”

Staff writers Delal Pektas and John Hausman contributed to this story.








Detective: Police certain that Hart City Council member drowned wife in bathtub
Published: Wednesday, January 09, 2013, 7:07 PM
Updated: Wednesday, January 09, 2013, 7:09 PM
By Delal Pektas
The Muskegon Chronicle
http://www.mlive.com/news/muskegon/index.ssf/2013/01/authorities_are_still_investig.html

HART, MI -- Initially reported as an accidental drowning, investigators are quite certain that Hart City Council member Timothy Shannon is responsible for killing his wife by drowning her in the couple's bathtub on Dec. 29.

Lee-Ann Elizabeth Shannon, 34, was found dead in a bathtub in her home in the 200 block of Courtland Street in Hart.


Authorities said the incident was initially reported as an accidental drowning on the day of Shannon’s murder.

As the investigation unfolded, Oceana County Sheriff's Det. Shane Hasty said police became quite certain that Lee-Ann Shannon’s husband of six years, Timothy Nathaniel Shannon, 34, had allegedly drowned her in a bathtub.

“Adults don’t drown in bathtubs,” Hasty said.

He would not comment on whether Timothy Shannon admitted to killing his wife. He has been charged with open murder in connection with his wife’s Dec. 29 death.

Oceana County Prosecutor Joseph Bizon said the Hart Police Department called in the Oceana County Sheriff’s Office to investigate the death once it began looking like a homicide, because the suspect is a Hart City Council member.

“I’m really grateful for the work of the Hart city police force and the Oceana County sheriff’s department for not letting this sift through the cracks,” Bizon said. “They did a wonderful job of investigating this. I just give them a lot of credit for doing a very professional job.”

The couple have a son and daughter, 3 and 4 years old. Hasty confirmed that the two children are under the care of their grandparents.

Staff writer John Hausman contributed to this story.









Hart woman allegedly drowned by husband in bathtub described as 'great, great parent'
Published: Wednesday, January 09, 2013, 2:40 PM
Updated: Wednesday, January 09, 2013, 3:43 PM
By Heather Lynn Peters, MLive
The Muskegon Chronicle
http://www.mlive.com/news/muskegon/index.ssf/2013/01/hart_woman_who_police_say_was.html

HART, MI – Lee-Ann Shannon was a loving mother to her two young children and devoted her time to Hart Public Schools’ Head Start program, an official said.

Those who knew her were “shocked” to learn Wednesday that her husband of six years, Timothy Nathaniel Shannon, 34, has been charged with open murder in connection with her Dec. 29 death.

Authorities say Timothy Shannon drowned his wife in a bathtub inside their Courtland Street home in Hart. Police said the autopsy report lists her cause of death as drowning.

Jodi Munoz, director of Early Childhood Programs for Hart Public Schools, said her staff is “just devastated” at the news. Lee-Ann Shannon worked there with Munoz for more than a year.

“It’s pretty shocking. We’re having a hard time dealing with it,” Munoz said. “She was very involved in paying it forward. She was very involved in her kids’ education. We will miss her. She was a great, great parent and involved with her children. She was all about her kids.”

The couple has a son and daughter, 3 and 4 years old, Munoz said.

Authorities said Timothy Shannon is a member of the Hart City Council. A woman at Hart City Hall declined to confirm that he is a member of the council.

A call to City Manager Stan Rickard wasn't immediately returned Wednesday and other city officials declined to comment.

Martha Ann Piegols of Hart, who identified herself as Timothy Shannon’s grandmother, declined to give a statement about his arrest.

“I have no thoughts on that,” she said.

Lee-Ann Shannon is survived by her mother, Irene Chaffin of Shelby, and brother, Tom Chaffin, in Texas. She was a graduate of Spring Arbor College and had a bachelor’s degree in early education. According to her obituary, she attended First Baptist Church of Hart.

She was preceded in death by her father, Robert Chaffin.

Munoz said Lee-Ann Shannon was very hands-on with her children.

“She attended every playgroup that we had on Fridays. She was very involved with her children. She was on our parent committee and represented our program in the Muskegon area,” Munoz said.

Meanwhile, Munoz said the staff is trying hard to provide the Shannon children with some normalcy in the meantime.

“The children were in class today, which is good,” Munoz said. “We are hoping they will continue to attend here. We are trying to keep the children’s lives as normal as possible. We will miss her.”











Councilman charged with drowning wife
'This was a crime of passion'
Updated: Thursday, 10 Jan 2013, 3:56 PM EST
Published : Wednesday, 09 Jan 2013, 12:58 PM EST
By Ryan Takeo
http://www.woodtv.com/dpp/news/local/nw_mich/man-drowned-wife-in-bathtub










         







     
HART, Mich. (WOOD) - A city councilman in Hart has been charged with drowning his wife in the bathtub of their Oceana County residence.

Now, police say a councilman Tim Shannon's extramarital romantic relationship with another woman may have been one precursor to what they are calling a homicide.

Tim Shannon called police to his home at 214 Courtland Street in Hart around 11:30 a.m. on Dec. 29, 2012. Authorities found Lee-Ann Shannon dead in the bathtub.

"The story that they were given was that this was an accidental drowning in the bathtub of the residence," Lt. Craig Mast of the Oceana County Sheriff's Department told 24 Hour News 8.

Police were skeptical.
"Thirty-four-year-olds in pretty good physical condition don't usually drown in their own bathtub," said Lt. Mast. "That's a pretty extraordinary story."

Both the public and those close to the Shannons began giving investigators tips, the county prosecutor told 24 Hour News 8. That is when the investigation took a turn toward murder. Soon, a suspect was developed: Tim Shannon.

"We took over the investigation because there's a city council member involved in it. Hart police wasn't interested in having a conflict of interest," said Mast.

Oceana County sheriff's detectives interviewed Shannon Tuesday night. At that point, they said, his story changed. Police and the prosecutor stopped short of confirming he confessed.

"After that statement he was placed under arrest," Lt. Mast said.

Tim Shannon, 34, was arraigned Wednesday on an open murder charge. Bond was denied.

Lt. Mast told 24 Hour News 8 Thursday they are hearing that Shannon has since hired an attorney.

The Shannons had been married for six years and had two children. But Tim Shannon had hired an attorney to handle a divorce, Mast confirmed 24 Hour News 8 Thursday.

And, Mast said, Shannon had been having an affair with a woman in her 30s who had been renting a room in the Shannons' home. Mast said that woman appeared to have "had a critical role in their pending divorce."

The woman has since moved away, but had previously been interviewed regarding the death. Authorities are not currently working to find her.

"Things may change because this goofy story has been unraveling quickly," Mast told 24 Hour News 8 Thursday over the phone.

Tim Shannon never denied having a relationship with the woman, Mast confirmed to 24 Hour News 8, and thought the accidental drowning stopry could cover up a "perfect murder."

"This was a crime of passion. You know, it certainly appears to be a crime of passion," Mast said Wednesday. "It seems like the marriage may have been deteriorating. And tempers got the best of them and made some decisions that one party is going to live to regret and the other didn't."

 






Hart man charged with open murder for allegedly drowning wife in tub
Published: Wednesday, January 09, 2013, 12:18 PM
Updated: Wednesday, January 09, 2013, 12:18 PM
By Heather Lynn Peters
The Muskegon Chronicle
http://www.mlive.com/news/muskegon/index.ssf/2013/01/hart_man_charged_with_open_mur.html


HART, MI – A 34-year-old Hart man has been charged with open murder for allegedly drowning his wife in a bathtub.


Oceana County Sheriff’s Lt. Craig Mast said the incident was reported initially as an accidental drowning around 11:30 a.m. on Dec. 29 at the couple’s home in the 200 block of Courtland Street in the city of Hart.

Timothy Shannon has been charged with open murder for the death of his wife of six years, Lee-Ann Elizabeth Shannon, 34.

“It is believed the suspect drowned the victim in the tub and attempted to report it as an accidental drowning. After Oceana County detectives interviewed the suspect yesterday evening, he was then lodged for homicide,” according to a press release from the Oceana County Sheriff’s Office.

Timothy Shannon has been arraigned in Oceana County’s 78th District Court. Bond was denied and he remains lodged in the Oceana County Jail.