Murder charge dismissed against woman accused of shooting husband

Manslaughter charge still in play

By: Joshua Gordon | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published February 7, 2018

 Macomb Township resident Julie Chimelak will face charges of manslaughter, but not second-degree murder, in the death of her husband in 2015, a judge ruled.

Macomb Township resident Julie Chimelak will face charges of manslaughter, but not second-degree murder, in the death of her husband in 2015, a judge ruled.

File photo by Thomas Franz

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — A Macomb Township woman will face charges of manslaughter, but not second-degree murder, for allegedly fatally shooting her husband in 2015.

Judge Douglas Shepherd, at the 41-A District Court in Shelby Township, bound Julie Chimelak’s case over to the Macomb County Circuit Court on Jan. 23, but denied the prosecution’s motion to bind the case over on second-degree murder.

Instead, Chimelak, 63, will face charges of manslaughter and felony firearm, a 15-year and two-year felony, respectively. Second-degree murder can carry a life sentence if convicted.

Chimelak’s attorney, William Swor, said during the preliminary examination in front of Shepherd, the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office moved to bind over all the charges, but Swor objected that there was no evidence supporting second-degree murder.

Shepherd took a recess and came out and said based on all the evidence and testimony during the hearing, he could not bind over the second-degree murder charge.

“The only evidence was that she shot her husband, and the only testimony was that she shot her husband, and she said it was an accident,” Swor said. “(Shepherd) could have dismissed everything, but he felt there was some evidence that might have contradicted her position, and the judge made the ruling that he thought was supported by the law.”

Assistant Macomb County Prosecutor William Cataldo said his office is not making any comments at this time.

At approximately 4:35 p.m. on Nov. 25, 2015, the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office received  a 911 call from Chimelak that she accidently shot her husband, Ronald Chimelak, 75, at their home on Nicol Creek Drive in Macomb Township.

When deputies arrived to the scene, they found Ronald Chimelak lying on his back on the floor, and Chimelak was kneeling next to him while attempting to perform CPR. The Sheriff’s Office reported he had been shot once in the chest.

Deputies also attempted to save his life prior to the EMS staff arriving and taking Ronald Chimelak to Henry Ford Macomb Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 5:20 p.m. that day.

A six-shot, .357-caliber revolver was recovered from a bedroom at the house.

Swor said Chimelak was found incompetent to stand trial twice and housed at a forensic center outside of Ypsilanti where she was supervised and properly medicated. She has since been “medically restored” to competency, Swor said, but she remains at the center.

An arraignment is scheduled for Feb. 20 in front of Judge Richard Caretti at the Macomb County Circuit Court. Swor said it is possible a plea is offered before then, or a trial may be set.