Love triangle preceded murder-suicide of corrections officers, police say
Paradise Township — The shooting deaths of two female northern Michigan corrections officers at their home in late October has been determined to be a murder-suicide and believed to be a "crime of passion," according to the Grand Traverse County Sheriff's Office.
Autopsy results confirm that Angelina Winn, 49, died from multiple gunshot wounds, and her death was a homicide. Winn was shot six times, including in the head and chest, according to Capt. Randy Fewless of the sheriff's office.
Winn was sitting in a recliner at the time.
Tara Kelley, 53, died of a close-range gunshot to the head, Fewless said. Her death was ruled a suicide. She was found a short distance away from Winn.
Both women were intoxicated at the time. Winn had a blood alcohol level of 0.22, Kelley of 0.36.
"I think it was probably something where (Kelley) just had had enough and went and got her gun from upstairs and came down and basically ambushed her in the chair," said Fewless, describing the incident as being fueled by jealousy on Kelley's part.
Police confirmed Winn was romantically involved with another female who lived in the Manistee area, near where she and Kelley worked as corrections officers. Investigators reached out to that woman, who confirmed she'd been texting with Winn on Oct. 23 when, about 10 p.m., "the texting just stopped," Fewless said.
The women were scheduled to work on the morning of Oct. 25, but when neither showed up, prison staff thought it was strange for two women considered "great employees," Fewless said. A staff member stopped by the home and saw Kelley's legs on the floor.
"She knew something was wrong," Fewless said. "She ended up calling dispatch, and we sent units down and started the investigation at that point."
The weapon recovered was a privately owned firearm, Fewless said.
Michigan Department of Corrections spokeswoman Holly Kramer said Winn and Kelley were well-liked corrections officers at Oaks Correctional Facility in Manistee and their deaths came as a surprise to their 304 colleagues.
"We were really shocked and heartbroken at the tragic death of these officers and the manner in which it occurred," Kramer said Tuesday. "It has been a very difficult time for their colleagues at the facility."
The two were well respected: When they were working at Pugsley Correctional Facility prior to the Oaks facility, Kelley was officer of the year in 2013, and Winn took home the award the following year.
The department's wellness unit has been at the Manistee facility working with co-workers, Kramer said.