DOWAGIAC, Mich. — A Cass County man is being held behind bars after authorities say he admitted to killing his wife following an argument in their home near Dowagiac on Tuesday.
44-year-old Terry Ray Stineback was arraigned Wednesday afternoon in 4th District Court on charges of Open Murder, Assault with Intent to Murder and Felony Firearms. He’s being held without bond.
Stineback was taken into custody shortly after deputies arrived to the family’s home in the 24000 block of Flanders Street around 9:39 p.m. Tuesday, following a 911 call reporting shots fired at the home and the need for an emergency response.
Stineback was seen exiting the home with his 9-year-old daughter when deputies arrived. The daughter was taken to the hospital and later placed with family friends following the arrest of her father.
Inside the home, deputies found 42-year-old Laura Jean Stineback deceased from apparent gunshot wounds.
During Stineback’s arraignment, prosecutors said the husband and father admitted to shooting and killing his wife.
“The facts from the police investigation at this point show that there was marital tension,” said Cass County Prosecutor Victor Fitz.
Fitz said the preliminary investigation revealed the husband had been drinking the night of the shooting, saying a preliminary breath test revealed a blood alcohol content of approximately 0.22.
“According to the police investigation, the child in the house indicated that the defendant began choking his wife while on top of her in the basement-kitchen area of the home,” said Fitz. “The child, only because of her pleas, was able to stop the initial murder effort. He then ordered the child upstairs, and like an executioner, he forced his wife up the stairs to what was to be her death chamber.”
The prosecutor says Stineback forced his wife into a bedroom and shut and locked the door, later admitting to a 911 dispatcher he’d shot his wife.
The preliminary investigation revealed the wife was found in the bedroom deceased after suffering multiple gunshot wounds to her back. Autopsy results in the investigation are still pending.
“I was pretty surprised,” said Tim LaViolette, who lives near the Stineback home. “I thought it was crazy. I mean nothing like that ever happens out here.”
“He seemed like a normal, level-headed guy,” said LaViolette. “I’m really surprised, but I know sometimes people lose their temper and do things they really regret. It’s really unfortunate, I’d never suspect he’d do anything like that.”
Stineback is due back in court on May 21 for a preliminary examination conference.