October 20, 2018

Homicide victim’s name released by prosecutor


OGEMAW COUNTY — Police have released the name of the victim in what they believe was a homicide connected to a short standoff and arrest that occurred at the Super 8 Motel in West Branch Feb 4. 

Ogemaw County Prosecuting Attorney LaDonna Schultz announced in a press release Monday that the county sheriff’s office was investigating the death of William Joseph Shanks, 58, that occurred in the 4700 block of Rifle River Trail in Alger, according to the release. 

Related: Police investigating homicide following standoff and arrest

Shanks’ death has been ruled a homicide after an autopsy conducted Feb. 6. 

According to the release, police suspect the act was committed by a single person, who they say committed the act while on parole with the Michigan Department of Corrections. That suspect, they believe, was involved in a standoff Saturday at the West Branch Super 8. The 49-year-old Genesee County man is currently lodged in a Saginaw hospital in serious condition, after police believe he tried to take his own life, according to previous reports from Ogemaw County Sheriff Howie Hanft. 

The suspect’s name has not been released, and he has not been formally charged. His name will be released upon his arrest and arraignment, which will not occur until he has been discharged from the hospital, Schultz said. 

According to the release, the public is reminded that the release contains only allegations of a crime and is not proof of the defendant’s guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial in which it is the state’s burden to prove his or her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.


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Guilty or innocent....why not release the name of the parolee?

Monday, February 6, 2017 | Report this

I have heard a couple stories about this incident. Both were very horrid stories. I hope the news media keeps on top of this so the public knows. Anytime a recent parolee is involved the public has a right to be informed.

Thursday, February 9, 2017 | Report this
Eric Young — Managing Editor

The name WILL be released, it just hasn't been yet because he has not been arraigned. It is our policy not to publish names until they have been arraigned, so regardless it would not be reported yet.

Thursday, February 9, 2017 | Report this

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