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Alger man killed with ax for calling killer a 'pedophile,' police say

Posted in Related Deaths
2-11-2017 Michigan:

OGEMAW COUNTY, MI -- Police believe the Alger man found dead in his home earlier this month was killed with an ax because he called a man a "pedophile" for his conviction of raping a teen.

The suspect had been living in the Alger home of William Joseph Shanks for about a week before the two got into a dispute over the suspect's criminal history, Ogemaw County Sheriff Howie Hanft said.

"The guy called him a pedophile and he didn't like that, so he killed him," Hanft said.

Hanft said Shanks, 57, was hit in the head with an ax. The homicide occurred sometime between Feb. 1 and Feb. 4 in his home in the 4700 block of Rifle River Trail.

Police were tipped to the homicide by Robert Maxwell, 49, a parole absconder from Flint.

Maxwell barricaded himself in his Super 8 hotel room on Feb. 4 after being approached by deputies about homicide allegations he made to strangers in the hotel's hot tub the night before, Hanft said.

The encounter led to a five-hour standoff in which Hanft was able to talk with Maxwell via the room phone. Hanft said Maxwell told him where the homicide had occurred.

Eventually, Maxwell no longer picked up the phone. Police snaked a camera beneath his door and found he was lying on the ground in a pool of blood.

They stormed the room and transported him to a Saginaw-area hospital for treatment of self-inflicted cut wounds.

Maxwell has since been discharged and is back in custody of the Michigan Department of Corrections for parole violation, Hanft said.

When police went to the location Maxwell had told them, they found Shanks' body.
There has been no arraignment on any charges in connection with Shanks' slaying. The incident remains under investigation. ..Source.. by Michael Kransz

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