NOVI (WWJ/AP) – A paroled killer has been charged with first-degree murder in the stabbing of an 84-year-old Novi woman.
Forty-six-year-old Peter G. Jones, an ex-convict whose criminal history includes two murders, was arraigned Wednesday in Novi District Court in the killing of Bernice Schaufele.
Schaufele’s body was found around 2:45 p.m. Monday inside her home in the 20900 block of West Glen Haven Circle at the Country Place condominium complex, located near 8 Mile and Meadowbrook roads. Her body was discovered by one of her daughters after she failed to show up for a doctor’s appointment.
The Oakland County Medical Examiner’s Office said Schaufele died of “near strangling and a stab wound to the neck.”
Police said Jones, who also lives in the condominium complex, first landed on their radar because he was acting suspiciously as investigators combed the scene for clues. After speaking with investigators, Jones was placed under arrest on a parole violation.
Novi Police Chief David Molloy said investigators worked through the night and executed a search warrant at Jones’ home early Tuesday morning.
“It’s a multi-family dwelling where you have about four condominiums per building, and he lived on the other side of where hers was at. So, they kind of lived on opposite sides of one another,” Molloy said. “When we executed the search warrant there, we found several items which connect him to the crime scene.”
Investigators uncovered evidence such as a bloody dish towel and jewelry, which matched other items owned by the victim. Police also matched a pair of Jones’ boots to footprints at the crime scene.
Authorities say Jones is currently on parole in Michigan for manslaughter and two counts of robbery, both of which occurred in Wayne County. Jones also has an extensive criminal record in Florida. Molloy said that Jones had only been living at the condominium complex for a few months.
“He just recently moved to the area, anywhere between two and five months ago, and we’re trying to nail that down on how long he has actually lived there with his mother and his sister in this condo,” he said.
Jones is currently being held without bond on first-degree murder and felony murder charges. He’s due back in court on Jan. 22. If convicted as charged, he faces a life sentence without the possibility of parole.
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