Hart city councilman Timothy Shannon facing trial for wife's murder

9:49 PM, Jan 22, 2013   |    comments
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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

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