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MI- Accused child molester kills stepdaughter, commits suicide

Posted in Related Deaths
9-18-2001 Michigan:

MONITOR TOWNSHIP (AP) A man apparently killed the stepdaughter he was accused of molesting before turning the gun on himself, just hours before he was due in a Bay County courtroom on a sex charge, police said.

The bodies of Herbert O. Sweebe and Christine Pickelmann, 21, were found early yesterday in the mobile home where the stepfather had lived with his wife and Pickelmann.

Pickelmann was killed by a rifle blast, and arriving police officers heard a second shot before finding the bodies, The Bay City Times said. Lt. John Parker, commander of the Bay City Post of the Michigan State Police, said troopers found the bodies of Pickelmann and Sweebe at opposite ends of the home.

Gail Sweebe, Pickelmann"s mother and Herbert Sweebe"s wife, was treated for a hand wound. It wasn"t clear how she was injured.

Sweebe was to be arraigned Monday by Bay County District Judge Timothy J. Kelly on a charge of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct. Pickelmann had accused Sweebe of groping her and offering to buy her a car if she would have sex with him, according to a Michigan State Police report.

But Pickelmann also had told police about sexual assaults she said were made by Sweebe when she was 15, shortly after he married her mother, police said. Bay County Sheriff"s Sgt. James Chlebowski said his department was about to charge Sweebe with first-degree criminal sexual conduct. A conviction on that charge carries a maximum sentence of up to life in prison.

Police went to the home Pickelmann shared with her mother and stepfather on Aug. 26 to handle a domestic dispute.

Pickelmann told police Sweebe had been sexually grabbing her and that she had evidence on tape Sweebe agreed to leave the home, the newspaper said.

The following day, Pickelmann obtained a personal protection order against Sweebe, preventing him from approaching or harassing her. The order did not prevent Sweebe from being at the mobile home.

Sweebe was arrested Aug. 31, and freed on a $10,000 bond on Sept. 3.

Early yesterday, neighbors gathered outside the home.

Linwood Krueger, 53, said he heard someone running through his back yard yelling, "Why are you doing this?" ..more.. by The Michigan Daily

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