Timothy Fradeneck told a judge on Wednesday he wanted to plead not guilty by reason of insanity in the strangulation and resulting deaths of his wife and two young children.
Fradeneck’s 37-year-old wife, Christine Fradeneck, their 2-year-old daughter, Celeste Fradeneck, and 8-year-old son, Timothy Fradeneck III, were found dead in their Eastpointe, Michigan, home on Monday. Police found the bodies after they received a worried call from Christine’s sister, according to the Associated Press.
When police officers arrived to the home, 38-year-old Timothy Fradeneck answered the door and allowed the officers to enter. They found the bodies of the wife and children, and all had been strangled with a USB cord. Detective Matt Hambright retold the story to judge during Wednesday’s arraignment.
“Timothy advised officers that his family was dead and that he had killed them by strangulation with a USB cable.”
Fradeneck was arraigned on first-degree murder and child abuse charges. He was asked by Eastpointe District Judge Carl Gerds III if he had anything to say, and Fradeneck replied, “”No, sir.”
The judge ordered Fradeneck away to jail without bond, but Fradeneck did have more words to say.
“I would like to enter a plea of not guilty by reason of mental insanity,” Timothy said.
The judge told Timothy he had already made his decision, but Fradeneck felt compelled to continue talking.
“I tried to kill myself. It wasn’t about -” Fradeneck managed to say before the judge interrupted him.
Timothy’s sister, Kate Fradeneck, has been outspoken in support of her brother and has set up a donation account on gofundme.com to help pay for his victims’ burial and funeral costs. The goal for the donation is currently set at $30,000.
“Even with the poor choices that he made, please remember he’s also lost his family,” Kate told the Macomb Daily. “No one knows or can understand the pain that he is in.”
Kate has not said what type of mental illness her brother suffers from, even though she believes it plays a part in Fradeneck’s actions.
The Fradeneck family released a statement, partly touching on the possibility of a mental illness factor.
“No family should have to deal with this. Mental illness should not be ignored or swept under the rug; it should be addressed and talked about and dealt with. Then maybe no other family will have to feel this pain.”
A hearing has been scheduled for April 28 to decide whether Timothy Fradeneck will stand trial in Macomb County Circuit Court.
[Photo by Todd McInturf/Detroit News via AP]