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Police investigating apparent murder-suicide in Macomb

By: Jeremy Selweski | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published February 4, 2015


MACOMB TOWNSHIP — A couple is dead after an incident in which police believe the man killed the woman and then shot himself.

According to Macomb County Sheriff’s Lt. John Michalke, at 11:36 p.m. on Feb. 3, the Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call from a home in the 48000 block of Meadowcrest Drive, near 22 Mile and Hayes roads. The caller told the 911 dispatcher that he was going to kill himself.

“It was very brief,” Michalke said. “The entire phone call was only about 10 seconds in duration.”

Deputies responded to the scene immediately. Upon arrival, they were able to see a male subject inside the home, so they handled the situation with caution in case the man was armed.

“They treated the incident like a barricaded gunman scenario,” Michalke explained. “They didn’t want to just go rushing in there without assessing the potential danger.”

After some time passed with no activity, the deputies forced entry into the home and found the man — later identified as 69-year-old John Mark Chiles — with a gunshot wound to his chin. They never heard any gunshots while they were outside the home, Michalke said, so it was unclear when the shot was fired.

“Our deputies immediately summoned medical help for the man,” he stated. “Then, during a sweep of the home, they found the female victim deceased in the basement.”

The woman, 78-year-old Hattie Ann Marty, was the homeowner and reportedly the longtime girlfriend of the man. Her cause of death is still under investigation.

“That has yet to be determined at this time,” Michalke said. “The (Macomb County) medical examiner still has to weigh in on that.”

Chiles was transported by ambulance to a local hospital, where he was treated for the gunshot wound. He later died in the hospital.

While the matter remains under investigation, evidence collected at the scene led investigators to the conclusion that Chiles killed Marty before taking his own life.

As Michalke put it, “There is no evidence indicating that this case is anything other than what it appears to be.”

In the past, deputies had responded to two incidents of domestic violence between the couple at the same home. One of those incidents occurred in 2007 and led to Marty’s arrest, while the other occurred in 2011 and led to Chiles’ arrest, Michalke said.