‘I failed myself’: Eastpointe dad who killed wife, kids

Oralandar Brand-Williams
The Detroit News

A 38-year-old Eastpointe man will spend the rest of his life behind bars for the brutal murders of his family members, telling a judge Tuesday he failed as a husband and a father.

Timothy Fradeneck’s life sentence also includes no possibility of parole. He used a computer USB cord to strangle his wife, Christie, 37, son, Timothy, 8, and daughter, Celeste, 2, as they slept last April.

Family and friends of Fradeneck’s murdered wife and children held up framed photos of the victims in court.

Fradeneck pleaded guilty but mentally ill in January to three counts of first-degree murder and other related charges for the slayings.

His prison term will include treatment for mental illness. Two psychologists had testified Fradeneck suffers from significant depression.

“I’m very sad. I’m very sorry,” Fradeneck told Macomb County Judge Diane Druzinski about the killings.

“I failed myself when I failed to protect my family from myself. I let the despair that I felt in my head eclipse the love I felt in my heart.”

Defense attorney Steve Kaplan said his client had decided to give up his right to a trial to spare relatives.

“He cares about his family,” Kaplan said.

His wife’s sister, Courtney Zanni, told the court her sister was ready to leave Fradeneck after “he told her he wasn’t going to go to work.”

Killing her “was the single most ambitious thing this man has ever accomplished,” she said. “We don’t believe his stories. He’s a master storyteller. She was married to a monster.”

When asked by authorities why he murdered his wife and two young children in the family home in the 22000 block of Cushing, Fradeneck allegedly told police “the opportunity presented itself.”

The murders were discovered when police went to the Fradeneck home to check on the family. When they arrived, Timothy Fradeneck answered the door telling officers his wife and children were asleep.

When police demanded to see his Fradeneck’s family, he allegedly confessed to them he had murdered the three. He surrendered to police at the scene.

Fradeneck told police he tried to take his life as well by ingesting pills, although police said he was not injured and there were no details given to police about a suicide attempt.

“He knew the difference between right and wrong,” psychologist Michael Abramsky testified.

Fradeneck’s wife owned and operated a Clinton Township salon called Blonde Ambition; he had been unemployed.

bwilliams@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2027

The Associated Press contributed.