Lawyer says man in triple homicide case is considering guilty plea

By: Kevin Bunch | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published January 25, 2016


EASTPOINTE — Timothy Fradeneck, the Eastpointe man accused of killing his wife and children on April 13 last year, was considering a guilty plea at his next circuit court hearing.

The hearing was scheduled for Jan. 25, after press time.

“We’re exploring entering a plea of guilty but mentally ill,” said Fradeneck’s attorney, Steven Kaplan. “A guilty-but-mentally-ill verdict spares the family of hearing the details of the crime, and it enables him to receive mental health help in prison.”

The sentence of life in prison without parole is the same as if he was found guilty, but this would require prison staff to provide psychiatric and psychological treatment to Fradeneck, Kaplan said.

The Macomb County Circuit Court must still find that Fradeneck qualifies for the plea, Kaplan said, which would require that Fradeneck was mentally ill at the time of the alleged crimes, but not to the extent that he was insane. Kaplan said that two psychologists have determined that this was the case.

If the plea is made, then the case will avoid a trial entirely.

According to testimony from police when Fradeneck was arraigned in 38th District Court April 15, as officers arrived at the house to do a welfare check, Fradeneck allegedly answered the door and told officers that his family was sleeping.

Officers then entered the house and found Fradeneck’s 37-year-old wife, Christie Fradeneck; 2-year-old daughter, Celeste Fradeneck; and 8-year-old son, Tim Fradeneck, dead in their beds with evidence of strangulation. Fradeneck allegedly told police that he had strangled them with a USB cable overnight and had intended to kill himself.

Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith said at the time that it was the worst homicide he had seen in some time, and that there was no history of domestic violence in the household.

“It was not spur of the moment,” Smith said April 15. “He said the opportunity presented itself.”

A message was left with the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office seeking comment on the potential guilty plea.

Fradeneck faces multiple charges of first-degree murder and first-degree child abuse.