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Attempted murder-suicide suspect arraigned

Audra Gamble/The Holland Sentinel • Aug 15, 2018 at 5:48 PM

WEST OLIVE — Attempted murder-suicide suspect Michael Scott McNeal has been released from the hospital and is now in custody at the Ottawa County Jail.

The 55-year-old Port Sheldon Township resident has been in a Grand Rapids hospital since July 24, when he allegedly shot and killed his wife, then tried and failed to kill himself.

When police arrived on the scene of the McNeals’ home in the 15000 block of Barry Street at 3:45 that morning, they found Sherrilee McNeal, Michael McNeal’s wife, dead. Her body was located in or near a horse trailer on the property, where she had apparently been residing.

Michael McNeal was found on the ground outside the home with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to his face.

He was hospitalized, constantly under guard by jail staff and Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office road patrol deputies. A warrant was issued for McNeal’s arrest, but for several weeks he was not formally charged with a crime because he was not cognizant enough to enter a plea as required by the court.

On Tuesday, McNeal was released to the Ottawa County Jail and charged with open murder and using a firearm to commit a felony. Bond was denied.

McNeal will face proceedings in Ottawa County District Court in Holland to determine if he murdered his wife. He is facing up to life in prison if convicted of the charges.

In his jail mugshot, McNeal is wearing a hospital gown and has significant facial injuries, including large splits in his upper lip and nose.

Detective Sgt. Jacob Sparks of the Sheriff’s Office said McNeal had gone through significant medical attention before he was taken to the county jail. He will continue to receive additional care, Sparks said.

“Basically, he has nurse care 24/7,” Sparks said. “He’s had substantial reconstructive surgeries and I believe there will be future surgeries, as well. The question is what to do with him because he is a murder suspect. Unless he was out on bond, he’ll be under guard if he goes for additional surgeries. This is a unique case, for sure.”

The McNeals’ 17-year-old son, who was online playing video games with friends at his home at the time of the shooting, is currently staying with family members in the area.

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