Wife denied protection from husband before death

Ottawa County

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WOOD) — About a year before the shooting that killed 24-year-old Emily Chatman, court records reveal that the mom of three filed for a protective order against her husband but was denied.  

Authorities in Ottawa County charged Jaron Chatman with manslaughter and felony firearm charges Tuesday. The new charges come after his wife died Thursday, as a result of a gunshot wound to the head. He was originally charged with reckless discharge of a firearm causing serious injury. The suspect has not been sentenced on the charges yet.

Officials say the victim was shot Oct. 21 at a home in Polkton Township, near Coopersville. The situation leading up to the shooting is unknown.

Jaron Chatman is being held at the Ottawa County Jail on a $50,000 bond.

Capt. Mark Bennett from the sheriff’s office said investigators believe this was a tragic incident “that could’ve been avoided if there hadn’t been such gross negligence.” 

According to Bennett, Jaron Chatman owned the firearm he used. He also said their children were home at the time of the incident.  

According to court documents obtained by News 8, the victim filed for an ex parte order of protection against her husband on Oct. 9, 2018. 

In the petition for an order of protection, the victim claimed her husband had been threatening violence against her and their children for the past seven years.  

“He is very controlling and mentally and emotionally abusive,” she wrote in the petition. “It use(d) to be physical.” 

In the document, the victim mentioned she and her husband were filing for divorce.  

“He doesn’t know how to control his temper around our kids, and it scares them … ” she continued to write to describe Jaron Chatman’s alleged behavior.

Circuit Court Judge Jon A. Van Allsburg denied the request for the order, stating the petition contained “no allegation that immediate and irreparable injury loss or damage will result during the delay necessary to give notice and schedule a hearing.” 

During a formal hearing, Jaron would have had the right to be present, but it doesn’t appear such hearing was ever scheduled.  

A relative of the victim told News 8 that the victim was a great friend and mother to her three kids. 

Loved ones remember the victim as someone who would always help others, but they say when the victim was the one who needed help, the judge let her down.  

Bennett said investigators are aware of the request for a protective order and are considering that, along with other factors as the investigation continues.  

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