HART, Mich. (WWJ/AP) – A city council member in a small Michigan community will stand trial in the bathtub drowning of his wife that was initially reported to authorities as an accident.

Thirty-four-year-old Hart City Council member Timothy Shannon faces an open count of murder in the Dec. 29 death of 34-year-old Lee-Ann Shannon after a judge on Tuesday determined that enough evidence was presented in Oceana County District Court to warrant a trial.

Shannon, who has served on city council since 2011, told police the morning of Dec. 29 that his wife had accidentally drowned at their home in the small community of Hart, about 60 miles northwest of Grand Rapids. Family members of Lee-Ann Shannon, however, raised questions about the death with investigators.

“It is believed the suspect drowned the victim in the tub and attempted to report it as an accidental drowning,” Oceana County Sheriff’s Lt. Craig Mast said.

According to court testimony, Shannon eventually told police that he approached his wife while she was in the bathtub, allegedly after she had consumed a large amount of alcohol, The Muskegon Chronicle reported.  Shannon said his wife “became upset he was asking for a divorce” and tried to pull him into the tub.

“Eventually [Shannon] admitted to holding her under the water until he realized she was dead,” a detective testified in court. Another detective testified that Shannon told them he held his wife under water for at least three minutes.

Police say on the day of her death, Shannon’s wife was expected to move out of the family home so his mistress could move in. The mistress allegedly moved out of the home a few days later, however, when Shannon asked her to leave “because he needed time to heal,” police said.

The Shannons have no known history of domestic violence, but family members allegedly told police there were marital problems. They were married in 2006 and have two children, ages 3 and 4.

TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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