CEDAR SPRINGS, Mich. (May 7, 2014)–The family of a man stabbed to death is questioning why the woman who admitted to doing it isn’t in jail.
A detective with the Newaygo County Sheriff’s Department tells FOX 17 that they’re trying to make a determination as to whether Tricia Hill was justified in the stabbing death of her boyfriend, Charles Rainey, 28, Sand Lake, Mich..
On Monday, Emergency crews responded to a 911 call bringing them to a home in Ensley Twp. There, they found Rainey with a stab wound to the chest. They began CPR, but Rainey died at the scene. Hill, who lived at the home with Rainey, told police and FOX 17 that she stabbed him out of self-defense.
By Wednesday, friends and family of Rainey, many of whom refer to him as “Bucket”, gathered at a park in Cedar Springs, where they released balloons and shared memories of him.
“I miss his smile…his laugh…my brother was the most fun-loving person,” Cristal Kooiker, Rainey’s sister said.
With Hill’s child and a roommate who didn’t see anything, being the only two people at the scene that night, according to investigators, Rainey’s family said they want answers as to why Hill isn’t in police custody. It’s a question that FOX 17 took to the NCSD.
“I understand the concern there and I can only answer it by saying that we’re looking very closely at whether this was an act of self-defense or not,” Detective Sgt. Adam Mercer said.
But, Rainey’s sisters said they think he was the one abused in the couple’s relationship. They said their brother often complained about Hill’s violent outbursts and that they feared the relationship would end badly.
“It was one of two options: my brother would end up dead, or in prison,”Kooiker said tearfully. “The worst outcome came out of it…my brother ended up dead. I want her [Hill] in jail for hurting my brother…taking him from us. My brother did not deserve to die.”
Another one of Rainey’s sisters, Jennifer Rainey, also expressed concern as to why Hill chose to stab her brother in the chest.
“It could’ve been the arm or the leg or something where he would’ve survived or hit him with something and left ,” Jennifer Rainey said. “The keys were right on top of the microwave right next to where it happened.”
Mercer said he hopes to have answers sometime this week and that the prosecutor is looking over the case.
“I know a lot of people are waiting in suspense,” Mercer said. “We’re looking at the history of these two. We’re trying to interview as many people that have been potential witnesses to these encounters…domestic encounters.”
In order for a person to claim self-defense in a case like this, Mercer said, they would have to be in immediate danger for their life.
“The biggest factor really that it’s going to come down to at the time that the stabbing took place: was this person acting in self-defense? were they acting out of anger? and was there an opportunity for them to do something besides that,” Mercer said.
Meanwhile, as friends and family gathered to say goodbye to Rainey AKA “Bucket,” they said they can only wish he was here to tell them what happened in the moments leading up to his death.
“There’s two sides to every story but you’re only going to get one side of this one,” Kooiker said. “My brother made the ultimate sacrifice for loving the wrong girl.”