Man charged in acid attack to undergo evaluation, victim’s family says note proves it was planned

Posted at 2:29 PM, Mar 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-30 17:53:23-04

ALLEGAN, Mich.  — A chilling discovery in the case of an Ganges Township woman attacked with acid after her family found another note they believe her attacker wrote.

Sheryl Keech was severely burned in the March 16 attack and is recovering in the ICU. Her longtime boyfriend, Gregory Marsman, 53, is accused of pouring acid on her face and chest.

Wednesday Keech's daughter-in-law Marcie Nemith told FOX 17 she found a note she believes shows Marsman premeditated this attack.  Nemith gave the note to a detective with the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office immediately.

“I just had an odd feeling and for some reason I decided to look in his closet and reach as high as I could reach and there was papers there," said Nemith.

"He actually wrote muriatic acid out and where to find it at the store on one of his own personal checks. So this isn’t ‘he just snapped,’ this is pre-planned.”

Nemith said the note was a type of grocery list including "testing strips" to check the potency of the acid, and then a date when he planned to attack Keech's family: March 25, 2016. The note referenced Keech, writing something to the effect of, "your time ends today, you'll be lucky if you make it to tomorrow."

Marsman was to have a preliminary examination on Wednesday, which was adjourned after his attorney requested Marsman undergo a psychiatric evaluation. He's been charged with torture, home invasion and domestic violence as a third-time offender, and earlier denied breaking into the home in Ganges Township.

The attack has clearly shaken the lives of this tight-knit family, as they regularly go from the ICU burn unit to be with Keech and then to her home to repair the large amount of damage done to the inside of it.

“When we left the hospital last night, we had our boys in the back seat crying because they don’t understand how somebody could do this, and why we can’t take grandma home," said Nemith.

"How do you explain that to a 10 and an 8-year-old that people in this world are that bad? It just, it’s mind boggling," she said.

Nemith said Keech was able to eat her highly anticipated first meal the day before Easter, and then her grand kids brought Easter to her. Nemith shared pictures with FOX 17 showing two of Keech's grandsons, Joey and Evan, acting as her "Easter doctors" smiling from her hospital bed.

“All the grand kids had a blast," laughed Nemith. “She’s got spunk in her.”

Though she has a long recovery ahead, family hopes for Keech to have fully healed eyesight and vocal chords. Nemith reiterated that Sheryl is a fighter.

“The tracheotomy and tubes have been removed," said Nemith.

“We’re looking in the positive respect: her skin is just healing amazing, day by day. So I mean it doesn’t look at this point she’ll need any skin graphing, which is just great, just great.”
Nemith said this is a cruel reminder to tell your family that you love them; something their family does not take for granted.

“We appreciate every day that we have now, and we appreciate each other even more than what we ever have," said Nemith.

“Maybe other than just sending somebody a text, maybe actually call somebody in your family. Let them know you love them.”

A fundraiser is planned April 23 at BAM! Entertainment Center in Holland. Half of the proceeds from bowling and laser and all proceeds from a raffle and auction will go to help with her medical bills and to repair her home.

Keech's family is focused on repairing the inside of her home. Nemith said they need some help and advice for things like carpet laying and painting. If you would like to help, please email the family through Keech's GoFundMe page.

Marsman remains jailed on a $100,000 bond.

The Associated Press contributed to this report