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Man accused of killing wife, 3 children in Mecosta County will face charges of murder, child abuse

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Posted at 8:28 AM, Jun 15, 2022

AUSTIN TOWNSHIP, Mich. — A father will face charges of open murder and child abuse after investigators say he shot and killed his wife and their three young children in Mecosta County last month.

"I don’t know if you can ever be ready for what we saw that day, three young lives," said Mecosta County Sheriff Brian Miller before taking a brief pause. "But, I think it affected everybody that was there, present that day. A lot of us have children of our own and it was very hard for all of us."

RELATED: Sheriff's office identifies mother, three young children shot and killed in Mecosta County

Wednesday, Mecosta County Prosecutor Amy Clapp and Sheriff Brian Miller announced that 51-year-old Charles Gillard will be charged with the following crimes:

  • Four counts of open murder
  • Four counts of felony firearm
  • Three counts of first-degree child abuse
  • Two counts of first-degree child abuse committed in the presence of another child
  • One count of discharge of a firearm in a building causing death


Man accused of killing wife, 3 children in Mecosta County will face charges of murder, child abuse

If convicted, Gillard faces life in prison.

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The deadly shooting happened back on May 27 at the victim's home in Austin Township.

Investigators say Gillard shot and killed his wife, 40-year-old Dawn Gillard and their three young children, 6-year-old Kaitlynn, 4-year-old Ronnie, and 3-year-old Joshua.

The 51-year-old suspect then turned the gun on himself. He’s been in the hospital in Ann Arbor since the shooting but is due to be released in a few weeks, according to the sheriff. Once he is released, he will be formally arraigned.

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