Break the Silence…Domestic Violence Impacts Us All

2005 Michigan Homicide List

Jamileh Abdullatif – Dearborn, Mi.
Hashem Mohamed Abdullatif  allegedly beat his wife, Jamileh Abdullatif,  to death with a crowbar.  He claimed to be angry because she would not give him the keys to their van.  Abdullatif also allegedly assaulted his two teenaged daughters  who were in serious condition in the hospital.  He is charged with first degree murder in Jamileh’s death and with two counts of assault with intent to murder for the assaults on his daughters.  The couple have two other younger children who were in the home at the time of the murder.

Robert Adelsburg – 45  Roseville, Mi.
On April 22,  Robert Adelsburg’s mother called the police because he failed to pick up his children for visitation.  Police found Robert dead in his home.  Police speculate that Robert was stabbed by his live-in girlfriend, Mary Ann McBride, as he slept.  McBride is charged with his murder.

Kim Anderson – 40  South Haven, Mi.
On September 2, Kim Anderson was found dead along with Antwyne Anderson.  Laboratory tests confirmed that Kim died of a gunshot wound to the head and Antwyne died of a self-inflicted gun wound.   

Leila Armin – 20  Troy, Mi.
On June 16, Leila planned to watch the Pistons play-off game on TV with friends.  But, just before the game, her boyfriend, Amir Aziz Shahideh beat her to death with a baseball bat – hitting her at least 20 times and smashing her skull – and then stabbed her.  According to the police, “the two began arguing over the status of their relationship” when Shahideh killed Leila. Following the murder, Shahideh wrapped her body in duct tape and trash bags and hid it in a trash bin in the garage where it was discovered the next day.   Shahideh was convicted of  first degree murder.   

Gina M. Belanger – 38 Canton, Mi.
On December 12, Gina Marie Belanger was returning home from work when her ex-boyfriend, Marlin N. Hoffman, shot her fatally four times in the chest.  Later that same day, Belanger fatally shot himself in a friend’s office.  Gina had recently tried to break off the relationship.   

Jennifer Bennett – 26  Superior Township, Mi.
On September 13, Jennifer Bennett’s ex-boyfriend allegedly confronted her at her home and violently assaulted her.  Jennifer ran down the street and eventually collapsed in a neighbor’s yard.  She died a few hours later at the hospital.  Her ex-boyfriend has been arrested for her murder.  Jennifer had ended the relationship a few months earlier.  Since that time, Jennifer had made five calls to the police regarding her ex-boyfriend repeatedly driving by her home, pushing her and yelling at her.  One day he had reportedly called her at work 31 times.   

Tammy L. Birchmeier – 38  Brady Township, Mi.
On December 7, Tammy’s two sons were waiting to be picked up at a friend’s house after school.  When Tammy did not show up to pick them up, the friend’s parents called police.  Police went to the house and discovered the bodies of Tammy L. Birchmeier and her estranged husband, Robert L. Birchmeier, in the garage of Tammy’s home.  Police have ruled that Robert shot Tammy twice and then shot himself.  The couple was in the process of getting a divorce.  There had been two previous police responses to the home for domestic violence.   

Jennifer Brockert – 53  Brighton Township, Mi.
On September 20, a neighbor found the body of Jennifer Brockert and her husband, Robert Brockert, on the floor of their home.  Police speculate that Robert shot Jennifer with a handgun and then turned the gun on himself.   

Janien Cobbin – 34 Flint Twp. Mi.
On May 22, Janien Cobbin was found by her son, shot to death in her own kitchen.  Her ex-boyfriend, Tajuan Williams is being held as a suspect in her murder.  Janien had reportedly recently broken up with Williams and told friends that she was afraid that he was going to kill her.   

Diane Marie Dudley – 42  Grand Rapids, Mi.
On October 29, Diane Marie Dudley came to the defense of her son who was allegedly being assaulted and cut by Diane’s knife-wielding boyfriend, Alonzo Webb.  The son ran from the house to call the police.   Webb then allegedly stabbed Diane to death.  Webb is charged with her murder.   

Jennifer Ernest – 50  Mt. Morris Township, Mi.
On January 9, Jennifer Ernest’s son found her body and the body of her husband in their home.  Police believe that Jennifer was shot by her husband, Roosevelt Ernest, who then shot himself.  

Julie Fisher – Mt. Clemens, Mi.
Julie Fisher’s ex-boyfriend, Andrew Colbert is charged with murdering her by strangulation.
Sarah Marie Gadziemski  – 24  Ludington, Mi.
On June 7 police found the badly burned and stabbed body of Sarah Marie Gadziemski in the trunk of a burning car.  Police believe that an ex-boyfriend, Larry Widdell McNeal Stovall, murdered Sarah in her apartment and then loaded her body into her own car, drove it to a remote area and torched it.  A nearby neighbor reported hearing a single gunshot in the evening.  Sarah reportedly had told a college classmate that she was “having trouble with a boyfriend from out of town.”   Police arrested Stovall who has pleaded guilty and been sentenced for the murder.     

Heidi Glass – 38  Hart, Mi.
On July 6, two teen-age sisters went into their home and discovered their mother, Heidi Glass and her husband, Alan Glass both dead of apparent gunshot wounds.  Family members reported that the couple had “a history of domestic problems”.  Police believe that Alan shot Heidi and then himself.  Alan Glass had a previous charge of domestic violence.   

Michelle Hartman – 25  Bath Township, Mi.
On June 12, Michelle Hartman’s body was found in a dumpster near her home.  Michelle’s sister called the police when she did not show up to pick up her son.   Autopsy results show that Michelle had been strangled to death.  Her estranged boyfriend was the chief suspect in her murder.  He committed suicide after being questioned by the police about her murder.  There had been a history of police intervention for domestic violence  at Michelle’s home.  Michelle was the mother of one child.  

Sheila Henderson – 46  Hamtramck, Mi.
On June 11, Shelia Henderson’s boyfriend, Tyrone Bryant, allegedly stabbed her 46 times.  Shelia was dead at the scene.  Police are looking for Bryant.

Nicole Hirth – 17  Warren, Mi.
On November 12,  Nicole Hirth was in the bedroom of her mobile home with her three month old son.  Her boyfriend, Joseph Duncil, entered the room and, according to witnesses, began arguing with Nicole.  He claimed to believe that she was pregnant with another man’s child.  An autopsy revealed that Nicole was not pregnant.  Prior to the murder, Duncil had reportedly held a loaded gun to Nicole’s head twice and pulled the trigger, but the gun did not fire.  Duncil was convicted of second degree  murder.

Donna Husbeck – 51  Menominee Township, Mi.
On December 14, Michigan State Troopers were called to investigate a “domestic disturbance”.  Police found Donna Husbeck and her husband, Frank Husbeck dead at the home.  Police have ruled that Frank shot his wife and then himself.     

Kelly Ireland – 39  Lenox Township, Mi.
On January 11, Kelly Ireland was found dead by police when they responded to a 911 call.  Police speculate that she was killed by “some kind of traumatic choking or shaking”.  Her live-in boyfriend, Ronald Drolshagen, was arrested and charged with second degree murder.  Drolshagen had a history of domestic violence.   

Heaven LaTalier – 14  Warren, Mi.
On November 18, Heaven LaTalier’s body was found in a dumpster behind the apartment building where she lived.  Heaven was a freshman in high school.  Nathaniel Tyrone Gilbert, a 16 year old boy who lived near her, is charged with sexually assaulting her before strangling her and putting her body into the dumpster.   

Connie Lompre – 52  Ishpeming, Mi.
On February 2, Michael Lompre called police to say that his wife had been stabbed and they should send an ambulance.  When police arrived, they found Connie Lompre dead of a stab wound and Michael Lompre dead of a gunshot wound.

Lisa Lonchar – 42 Warren, Mi.
On November 20, Lisa Lonchar’s boyfriend, Michael Bedwell called police to say that he had shot Lisa in the head.  Bedwell had prior domestic assault charges.  He was found guilty of second degree murder.   

Margie May – 57  Newaygo, Mi.
On October 1, Margie May’s husband, Richard May, called police to say that his wife was dead.  When police arrived they found Margie’s body in the yard of their home.  An autopsy revealed that she died from blunt force trauma to the head with a tool.  Her husband is charged with her murder.

Fenecia McKnight – 34  Saginaw, Mi.
On February 4, Fenecia McKnight was standing in her driveway when she was shot to death.  She was reportedly talking with an ex-boyfriend, Lamar Clemmons (with whom she had recently broken up) and his cousin, Adam Clemmons.  Lamar Clemmons was  convicted of second degree murder.  

Janet Olesen – 66  Hubbard Lake, Mi.
On June 22, Janet Olesen’s husband allegedly killed her and then himself.  Police declined to discuss details of the incident.   

Brenda Michelle Orton – 36  Muskegon, Mi.
On Nov. 12 Brenda Orton’s live-in boyfriend, Bruce Ray Uhl, shot her several times with a handgun in the home that they shared.  Their three children were in the home at the time of the murder.  Uhl pleaded guilty to first-degree murder.  Police say there had been multiple calls about domestic violence at the home in the last few years.  Orton had a prior conviction of domestic violence against Brenda.   

Robynn Page – Ypsilanti, Mi.
On May 21 Robyn Page went downstairs in her apartment complex to answer the door.  Her former boyfriend, Fernando Roberson, allegedly shot her multiple times in the entranceway.  She had recently broken off the relationship with him.  Robyn was the mother of four children.  Roberson  was arrested on an open murder charge.   

Mary Deborah Ridge – 50  Portage, Mi.
On March 27, Mary Deborah Ridge was shot to death in her apartment with a short barrel shotgun by her husband, Michael Ridge.  According to police, Ridge broke into his wife’s apartment and waited for her.  When she arrived, he grabbed her, put his hand over her mouth and shot her three times in the head.  Three months before the murder, Mary was reportedly assaulted and strangled by Ridge.  She sought a personal protection order and filed for divorce from him.  He had two previous domestic violence charges in the last two years.  He pleaded guilty to first degree murder and later committed suicide while in prison.   

Terrence T. Saines – 34  Flint, Mi.
On July 13, Terrence Saines was shot four times in the back by his estranged girlfriend, LaDonna R. Cummings.  Cummings claimed that a gun fell from the waistband of Terrence as they were fighting and she grabbed it and shot him.  Cummings also claimed previous abuse by Terrence.  The couple have three children together.  Cummings was convicted of first degree murder.   

Lori M. Scriver-VanMeter – 43 Lapeer, Mi.
On October 23, Lori Scriver-VanMeter’s husband, Mark VanMeter, apparently killed her with a shotgun in the living room of their home and then turned the gun on himself.  The couple’s four children were upstairs when the murder occurred.  Mark VanMeter had recently learned that Lori had decided to leave him.

Paula Seals 47  Detroit, Mi.
On January 28, Paula Seals’ estranged husband, John Seals, approached her as she pulled up to her Detroit apartment.  He shot her twice, killing her, and then shot and killed himself.  The couple’s two children, a 9 year old girl and a 7 year old boy, were in a van nearby and may have seen the deaths.   

Dorothy M. Smith – Flint, Mi.
On December 2, Dorothy Smith’s ex-boyfriend, Franklin Fulton, entered her home and shot her to death.  He stumbled out of the home and was found by a neighbor to whom he confessed the murder.  Dorothy had filed a personal protection order against Fulton a month previously.  She had tried to end their 15-year relationship.  Fulton pleaded guilty to second degree murder.   

Beth Thompson – 42  Ionia, Mi.
On September 1, the body of Beth Thompson and her boyfriend, Edward Elvert,  were discovered by Beth’s 20 year old daughter in their home.  Police believe that Elvert shot Beth and them himself in an apparent murder-suicide.  Both Beth and Elvert were employees of the Dept. of Corrections.

Donald Ace Thompson – 40  Grand Rapids, Mi.
On October 9,  Donald Thompson was found by a newspaper carrier outside near his apartment.  He had apparently been stabbed and his throat had been cut.  An ambulance was called, and Donald died before it arrived.  Donald’s live-in girlfriend  confessed to the murder and was arrested.
Cheryl Ann Tran – 36  Alpena Township, Mi.
On April 29, police surmise that Dung Minh Tran shot his wife, Cheryl Ann Tran  and later shot himself.  Both were found dead by a family member.  The couple have two children.   

Cindy Whitcher – 44 Redford Township, Mi.
On March 3, Cindy Whitcher was in her home and allegedly fatally stabbed multiple times with a knife by her boyfriend, Gordon Randle David Jr.  Before police arrived, David attempted to slit his own neck in a suicide attempt. The couple’s 8 year old son was in the home at the time of the murder.  David was arrested for domestic violence  a week before the murder.  David is charged with first degree murder.

Possible DV or DV related murders

Jessie T. Calhoun – 73  Flint, Mi.
On September 3, a neighbor saw Jessie Calhoun’s wife, Addie L. Calhoun,  approach Jessie on the couple’s front porch.  Both Jessie and his wife were armed with  guns. The two argued and Addie allegedly fired a gun killing Jessie.  Addie pleaded no-contest to a charge of involuntary manslaughter.   

Juan Duncan – 33 Flint, Mi.
On June 22, Juan Duncan was in a car near a motorcycle club when he was allegedly shot 9 times by Andrew Shields.  Shields has pleaded guilty to second degree murder.  Shields and Duncan fathered children with the same woman.  Shields had asked the woman to bring her children to the motorcycle club, threatening to kill the whole family if she didn’t.  Duncan was allegedly angry that she brought the children to the club. Shields and Duncan began arguing just before the shots were fired.   

Melissa Friar – 27  Grand Rapids, Mi

Alana Friar – 8  Grand Rapids, Mi.
On April 24, police were called because four-year-old, Jonathon Friar, was abandoned near a house in Grand Rapids.  Jonathon told police that his mother and sister were hurt and he led the police several miles across town to his home where Melissa and Alana Friar were found murdered.  No arrests had been made at the time of the newspaper article.   

Bonnie Jean Glisson – 38 Hartford, Mi.
On July 1, police were called to the home of Bonnie Jean Glisson for a reported domestic assault.  When they arrived they found 15 year old Johnathon Glisson and his mother, Bonnie Jean, injured.  Both were transported to the hospital where Bonnie was pronounced dead and Johnathon was treated and released.  Bonnie’s husband, Randy Glisson, was arrested.   

Matthew Morales – 35  Emmett Township, Mi
On September 17, Matthew Morales was stabbed to death by his girlfriend, Lisa Dunmire during an argument.  Dunmire called 911 after stabbing Matthew.  She was convicted of second degree murder.

Deborah Pinkoski – 52 Gagetown, Mi.

On February 26, Deborah Pinkoski’s son came to the home of his parents and found both of them dead of gunshot wounds in the living room.  Police believe that Deborah was shot by her husband, Terry Pinkoski,  who then shot himself.  Family and friends claim that the couple was facing severe economic stress.   

Karen Plesa – 53  Belleville, Mi.
On July 22, Karen Plessa lay on the side of I-94 with severe injuries and told police that she  was forced out of a moving car by her boyfriend.  Karen was rushed to the hospital where she later died.   No charges had been made at the time of the newspaper article.   

Jalona Stafford – 19  Detroit, Mi.
On February 13, Jalona Stafford checked into a motel room with her boyfriend, Jason Coleman.  They were reportedly going there to celebrate Valentine’s day.   On February 17, Coleman led police to an abandoned building in Detroit that had been burned and told them they would find Jalona’s body there.  Police speculate that Coleman strangled Jalona at the motel and then drove her to Detroit where he used an accelerant to burn her.  Coleman has confessed to her murder.  Coleman attempted to hang himself in the county jail while awaiting arraignment on charges of open murder.   

Patrice Streeter – 22  Kalamazoo, Mi.
On January 3, Patrice Streeter was stabbed once in the chest and died of the wound later in the hospital.  Her domestic partner was questioned in an investigation and released.  Patrice had “a history of domestic violence and assault” according to the police.

Unnamed woman – 26  Detroit, Mi.
On May 14, a woman died as a result of a fall from a fourth-floor window of an apartment complex.  Police are investigating whether or not the woman was pushed or fell from the window.  Witnesses told investigators that a man believed to be her boyfriend pushed her out the window.   

Unnamed Woman –  Detroit, Mi.
On December 27, an unidentified woman was found dead lying in the street.  She had been shot once in the face.  Police stated that the suspect is allegedly the former boyfriend of the victim.  Another woman was also found dead lying dead in the street and may also have been a victim of the same perpetrator.  Investigation is continuing.   

2005 – Friends and Family Members Killed

Terry L. Barber Jr. – 34  Flint, Mi.
On March 1, 2004, Terry L. Barber Jr. was confronted on his front lawn by Aaron J. Lloyd, who allegedly had been having an affair with Terry’s wife.  According to witnesses, Lloyd beat and kicked Terry into a coma.  Terry died 11 months later.  Lloyd is charged with second degree murder.   

Tyler Bates – 6 months  Canton, Mi.
On March 3, Tyler Bates was being held by his Mom, Jessica, when his father, Ryan Kierzak, allegedly shoved her and pushed her and the baby into a closet door.  Several hours later, Tyler died.  The Medical Examiner said that the cause of Tyler’s death was blunt force trauma to the head and sustained trauma to the abdomen.  Kierzak is charged with the murder.

Tashona Holmes – 19 months Detroit, Mi.
On January 7, Tashona Holmes was allegedly beaten to death by her mother’s former boyfriend, James Earl Johnson.  Tashona’s mother believes that Johnson was angry because she had refused to marry him when he proposed to her earlier in the month.    After killing Tashona, Johnson reportedly phoned Tashona’s mother and “said he was going to do me the same way he did my baby”.  Johnson was arrested and charged with first degree murder.  

Jake Logan – 4  Detroit, Mi.
Jake Logan was raped and beaten to death by his mother’s boyfriend, Michael Stamper.  The judge in the case expressed the opinion that Stamper harbored rage toward Gloria Logan (Jake’s mother) and that Stamper’s abuse and murder of Jake was an extension of that.  Stamper was convicted of felony murder and first-degree criminal sexual conduct.   

Raylond McCulley – 10  Detroit, Mi.

Tamyah Vaughn – 18 months Detroit, Mi.

On May 19, Raylond McCulley and his half-sister, Tamyah Vaughn were asleep in their home when their mother’s boyfriend, Kenneth F. Nixon,  allegedly tossed a Molotov cocktail through a bedroom window igniting the home.   Raylond and Tamyah died from smoke and soot inhalation.  Three other children escaped from the fire.  Nixon allegedly fire-bombed the house because he was feuding with another man over the children’s mother.    

Likely Perpetrators Killed or Committed Suicide

Jeremy P. Telfor – 24  St. Johns, Mi.
On June 27 police responded to a domestic violence call.  When they arrived, Jeremy P. Telfor waved a handgun and then pointed it to his head and shot himself after refusing to put the gun down.  He died of the injuries.  His 22 year old girlfriend was inside the house  and was allegedly assaulted before Telfor killed himself.

Special Note from the President and Publisher, Rina N. Risper
Dear Readers,

No one is protected from the horrors of domestic violence. It affects all of us.

I’ve printed a list of domestic abuse victims not to sensationalize the issue, but for sensitivity.  

As a survivor of domestic violence, I encourage those who are  going through it to seek help.  If you have sought help and went back to your abuser, continue to seek help.

My name could have easily been on this list. At the time I was too embarrassed to tell anyone. I was from another state, with no family, few friends and I was in denial. Then one particularly bad argument altered my view. When I  looked into my child’s eyes and saw real fear, that was the moment I knew that I had to leave.    

Leaving an abuser takes time and effort.  It’s an orchestrated event and may place your life, and the lives of your families and friends, in danger, but you have to do it.

I consider that time in my life as a learning lesson. I wouldn’t change it,because I wouldn’t be who I am today – a wife, a mother, a publisher  and a poet – if it hadn’t been for that period of my life.  

For those of you who wonder, ”How could you let someone do that to you?”  I want you to find the abuser and ask him or her, “Why do you hurt someone you say you love?”

Through all of this I’ve learned that speaking up and speaking out is the only way that healing will begin.

Recently I performed a poem about domestic violence at a  church.  Yes, a church.

The seminar was entitled, “Path to Wholeness.”  This was a faith-based community seminar on domestic violence sponsored by Heal Overcome Win (H.O.W.) at the Lansing Church of God in Christ Ministry at 5304 Wise Road in Lansing, MI.

As I looked around at the audience, I thought to myself, “Where are the pastors, reverends, ministers and the like? Where are the leaders of the church?”

In this room full of people, they’re the ones who needed to be there. The people in attendance heard about most of the  issues and learned that domestic violence doesn’t discriminate based on race, color, creed, socio-economic class or religion.

My disappointment in the lack of attendance of church leadership reverberated in my head like a ping pong  ball.  I actually was ill that day.

Then I read a recent article in the Lansing State Journal, “Boyfriend set  woman on fire, city police say.” And I recognized that speaking up and out on domestic violence is something I must continue to do.

Read the article. When you’re done, call H.O.W.  at  517-882-2335 and make a donation. Or call for information regarding how faith-based communities can better deal with domestic violence issues. Just do something.