STANTON, Mich. (WOOD) - An Ionia man charged with the murder of a 31-year-old mother of twins hugged his alleged victim after he cut her throat but before fleeing the scene of the crime, court records show.
Robert Michael Munsell, 29, was arraigned Monday on one count of open murder in the death of Julie Danielson.
Police found Danielson's body in the basement of her home in the 4000 block of Whitefish Woods Drive in Pierson Township about 4 a.m. Saturday.
Deputies were sent to the home after a 911 call reported an assault at the address.
Court records indicate Munsell made that call from a cellphone after he left the home. He told dispatchers there was an assault involving him and another male, and apparently left the home.
Deputies had to force their way into the home and found Danielson's body a short time later.
Investigators contacted Munsell and asked him to come into the sheriff's department for an interview.
"It wasn't until after he got to the department here that we started putting two and two together," said Montcalm County Sheriff William Barnwell.
Munsell first denied any involvement in the crime, but in court documents detectives said he was evasive and his story was inconsistent.
Munsell was covered with a large amount of blood. He eventually confessed.
He told investigators he went to Danielson's home, and the two began to argue. Danielson tried pushing Munsell toward the door to force him to leave. He admitted slapping her, and she fell to the floor and went unconscious.
"He said he panicked, ran upstairs to a kitchen area. Grabbed a knife, went back down, cut her throat," Montcalm County Sheriff's Detective Tom George told a judge in his request for an arrest warrant. "... (G)ave her a hug before he left, which explained all the blood on him, and left to Grand Rapids."
Munsell was arrested in Grand Rapids early Saturday. He's being held without bond in the Montcalm County Jail.
Danielson's twin sons were not home at the time of the crime.
Court records show Munsell has threatened violence in the past, though not necessarily against Julie Danielson.
In June 2011, Julie's ex-husband, Erick Danielson, filed a personal protection order against Munsell. Danielson wrote that Munsell had been harassing him with phone calls, text messages and voicemails, and that Munsell was threatening physical violence against Erick Danielson and his sons.
In 2008, Munsell pleaded guilty to misdemeanor domestic violence in Wyoming. Police had been called to an apartment that Munsell shared with a woman. Court records show that victim had filed a paternity suit against Munsell in 2006.
Munsell also has a drunk driving arrest and two drug arrests on his record.
A fund for Danielson's twins has been set up through Flagstar Bank, where she used to be employed. Donations to the Danielson Children's Memorial Fund may be made at any Flagstar Bank branch.
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