HART, Mich. (WOOD) - A city councilman in Hart has been charged with drowning his wife in the bathtub of their Oceana County residence.
Now, police say a councilman Tim Shannon's extramarital romantic relationship with another woman may have been one precursor to what they are calling a homicide.
Tim Shannon called police to his home at 214 Courtland Street in Hart around 11:30 a.m. on Dec. 29, 2012. Authorities found Lee-Ann Shannon dead in the bathtub.
"The story that they were given was that this was an accidental drowning in the bathtub of the residence," Lt. Craig Mast of the Oceana County Sheriff's Department told 24 Hour News 8.
Police were skeptical.
"Thirty-four-year-olds in pretty good physical condition don't usually drown in their own bathtub," said Lt. Mast. "That's a pretty extraordinary story."
Both the public and those close to the Shannons began giving investigators tips, the county prosecutor told 24 Hour News 8. That is when the investigation took a turn toward murder. Soon, a suspect was developed: Tim Shannon.
"We took over the investigation because there's a city council member involved in it. Hart police wasn't interested in having a conflict of interest," said Mast.
Oceana County sheriff's detectives interviewed Shannon Tuesday night. At that point, they said, his story changed. Police and the prosecutor stopped short of confirming he confessed.
"After that statement he was placed under arrest," Lt. Mast said.
Tim Shannon, 34, was arraigned Wednesday on an open murder charge. Bond was denied.
Lt. Mast told 24 Hour News 8 Thursday they are hearing that Shannon has since hired an attorney.
The Shannons had been married for six years and had two children. But Tim Shannon had hired an attorney to handle a divorce, Mast confirmed 24 Hour News 8 Thursday.
And, Mast said, Shannon had been having an affair with a woman in her 30s who had been renting a room in the Shannons' home. Mast said that woman appeared to have "had a critical role in their pending divorce."
The woman has since moved away, but had previously been interviewed regarding the death. Authorities are not currently working to find her.
"Things may change because this goofy story has been unraveling quickly," Mast told 24 Hour News 8 Thursday over the phone.
Tim Shannon never denied having a relationship with the woman, Mast confirmed to 24 Hour News 8, and thought the accidental drowning stopry could cover up a "perfect murder."
"This was a crime of passion. You know, it certainly appears to be a crime of passion," Mast said Wednesday. "It seems like the marriage may have been deteriorating. And tempers got the best of them and made some decisions that one party is going to live to regret and the other didn't."
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