Standoff at Super 8 leads to arrest of parole absconder
No suspect arraigned on murder charge yet
WEST BRANCH — Ogemaw County Sheriff Howie Hanft said Robert Maxwell, a parole absconder who was reportedly involved in a standoff at the Super 8 Motel in West Branch Feb. 4 has been released from the hospital and is now in custody of the Michigan Department of Corrections.
Maxwell, 49, of Genesee County is being held at the Charles Egeler Reception and Guidance Center in Jackson following his release from the hospital for treatment of alleged self-inflicted wounds.
Maxwell had been paroled from prison July 29, 2014 after serving time for criminal sexual conduct in the third degree with a person between the ages of 13 and 15.
According to Sheriff Howie Hanft, after receiving the tip deputies responded to the motel to make contact with the suspect. Hanft said the suspect refused to open the door and told deputies to leave or “bad things will happen.”
Hanft said at that point, he activated the Northern Michigan Response Team — a tactical emergency response team made up of representatives from various departments in the region.
Hanft said Maxwell was allegedly hanging out in the hotel’s hot tub Feb. 3 when he told someone he had recently gotten out of prison and had since committed murder.
The department was able to make contact with the Maxwell by telephone, but when he stopped responding, officers breached his room and found the suspect alive and bleeding out after allegedly attempting to take his own life.
Maxwell was apprehended and transported by ambulance to West Branch Regional Medical Center and later airlifted to Ascension Health Care in Saginaw, according to Hanft.
Multiple search warrants were conducted at a residence on the 4700 block of Rifle River Trail, and a body was found at the residence, Hanft said.
According to a press release from Ogemaw County Prosecutor LaDonna Schultz, the victim was 58-year-old William Joseph Shanks, whose death was ruled a homicide by the medical examiner after an autopsy Feb. 6.
Hanft previously said Maxwell told him the address where the murder had allegedly occurred.
Schultz said police do not believe anyone else was involved in Shanks’ death.
The suspect was on parole with the Michigan Department of Corrections, Schultz said.
According to Hanft and Ogemaw County District Court no suspect has been arraigned on the murder charges of Shanks as of Feb. 10.