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Eaton County Sheriff's Office: Suspect allegedly killed mother with sword

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Posted at 10:30 AM, May 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-18 10:30:46-04

SUNFIELD TWP, Mich. — The Eaton County Sheriff's Office said a man allegedly killed his 56-year-old mother with a sword.

Robert Justin Shepard, 21, of Mulliken, has been charged with first-degree premeditated murder in the death of Cheryl Arlene Fox, his mother, according to the sheriff's office.

The incident happened last month when deputies were dispatched to the 10000 block of North Clinton Trail in Sunfield Township to check on the well-being of a resident on Sunday, April 26, the sheriff's office said.

The sheriff's office said the caller had gone to the residence to check on a relative whom they had not heard from and saw the relative lying motionless on the floor.

The sheriff's office said once deputies arrived at the scene, after forced entry, they found Fox dead. Deputies said she suffered traumatic head injuries and an edged weapon was found near her body.

The sheriff's office said detectives, along with the Michigan State Police crime lab, began investigating the incident and information was obtained regarding a 21-year-old male suspect, Shepard, who lived with Fox.

The sheriff's office said a description of Shepard and his vehicle was broadcast in a statewide bulletin and detectives began looking for him.

The sheriff's office said officers at the Grand Ledge Police Department made a traffic stop and took Shepard into custody on the evening of April 26. The sheriff's office said he was then interviewed by detectives.

Shepard is set to have a probable cause hearing Tuesday, May 26 at 9:30 a.m.

The sheriff's office said the first-degree murder charge carries a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

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