every domestic violence death.
...Barbara Johnson who lived for about three years on Derby Road near the Holbrooks, said Joni Holbrook appeared at Johnson's home last fall and said her husband had just beaten her. "I asked, 'Why don't you call the cops?'" Baker said. "(Joni) said 'He is the police.'"... "She came to my house twice to borrow the phone so someone would help her... I have watched him push her out in the snow with no coat and then fling her clothes out, and heard arguments in the middle of the night so loud we would get up and listen... " Baker said she and her mother never called police to report the alleged abuse, and she's not sure if Joni Holbrook ever did...
[MI] Joni Holbrook charged with murdering husband, State Patrol Sgt. Melvin Holbrook - ...Deputies say when they arrived they found that Sergeant Holbrook had been shot dead in his bed. His wife again admitted to shooting her husband..
QUESTIONS BUILD IN TROOPER'S DEATH
No motive known; neighbors allege abuse
Traverse City Record Eagle
By Art Bukowski and Brian Mcgillivary
Published: August 11, 2009 06:50 am
[Excerpts] BEULAH - Questions abound in the death of a Michigan State Police sergeant whose wife told authorities she shot him in their Benzie County residence. Benzie Sheriff's deputies found Melvin P. Holbrook, 53, dead in his home on Derby Lane shortly after 1 a.m. Monday. Holbrook, 53, served since 2002 as a desk sergeant at the state police post in Traverse City. Police arrested his wife of ten years, Joni K. Holbrook, 47. She was arraigned Monday morning on an open count of murder in front of Benzie District Judge Brent Danielson and is being held without bail... Holbrook's defense attorney is Jesse L. Williams, of Traverse City. "She has certainly endured an enormous amount of hardships that no one should have to endure and when the time is right and appropriate we will comment on those hardships," Williams said. Neighbors of the Holbrooks said the couple had a stormy relationship and that they witnessed signs of physical abuse. Brooke Baker, a daughter of neighbor Barbara Johnson who lived for about three years on Derby Road near the Holbrooks, said Joni Holbrook appeared at Johnson's home last fall and said her husband had just beaten her. "I asked, 'Why don't you call the cops?'" Baker said. "(Joni) said 'He is the police.'" Johnson, who moved from the neighborhood July 10, said the alleged abuse wasn't hard to detect. "She came to my house twice to borrow the phone so someone would help her," Johnson said. "I gave her advice; she should leave him. I have watched him push her out in the snow with no coat and then fling her clothes out, and heard arguments in the middle of the night so loud we would get up and listen... We know that was an officer there, and we were kind of shocked at the behavior that was going on." Baker said she and her mother never called police to report the alleged abuse, and she's not sure if Joni Holbrook ever did. Capt. Tim Rod, commander of the state police's 7th District headquarters, refused to say if the state police ever had disciplinary issues with Holbrook. "That wouldn't be something I could comment on," he said... The couple separated in November 2007. She moved out of the house and he filed for divorce in Benzie County Circuit Court two months later on Jan. 11, 2008. Within two weeks the couple agreed to reconcile, court records show, and the divorce case eventually was dismissed. Members of Joni Holbrook's extended family were struggling with the news Monday and didn't want to talk about it. "She's a great person, we all love her dearly, and this is really a hard time," said her cousin, Terri Zenner. Joni Holbrook's adult son was in the residence at the time of the shooting and provided a statement to police, but Heckman wouldn't give details. Holbrook hired on with the state police in 1986... "He was always willing to help other people," said Lt. Bill Elliott, his boss at the Traverse City post. "Always kind of bubbly, always in good spirits." Holbrook volunteered for the Benzie Central School track team for the past four years and worked closely with the shot-put and discus throwing athletes, school officials said. His daughter will be a senior there this year... [Full article here]
WOMAN ACCUSED IN HUSBAND'S DEATH CITES ABUSE
AUGUST 11, 2009
Detroit Free Press
An attorney for a northern Michigan woman accused of fatally shooting her husband says the Michigan State Police sergeant "abused and tortured" her for years leading up to his death. Jesse Williams, defense attorney for 47-year-old Joni Holbrook, said today that Holbrook was "physically, mentally and sexually" abused by her husband, 53-year-old Melvin Paul Holbrook. Williams didn't say if Joni Holbrook admitted killing her husband. Joni Holbrook is charged with open murder in her husband's death. He was found dead Monday at their home in Benzie County's Homestead Township, about 20 miles west-southwest of Traverse City. Melvin Holbrook was a 23-year police veteran assigned to the Traverse City post. [LINK]
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