Fatal weekend violence probed

3 domestic incidents claim 3 lives; Canada arrests 1 victim's husband

11/5/2012
BY MIKE SIGOV
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Katie and Kyle Sheppard, both 29, were married in September of 2008. Mr. Sheppard is suspected in the death of his wife, and he was arrested in Quebec, authorities say.
Katie and Kyle Sheppard, both 29, were married in September of 2008. Mr. Sheppard is suspected in the death of his wife, and he was arrested in Quebec, authorities say.

Area law enforcement agents were investigating three apparently unrelated domestic incidents that happened over the weekend, in which two women and a man died, including a man and a woman who authorities said were murdered.

Two men were arrested in two of those incidents -- one in the apparent strangulation of his wife that happened Friday night in South Toledo and the other in what Oregon police called a violent physical altercation that resulted in the death of  the his father Saturday in Oregon. Another man was questioned in the shooting death of his wife in South Toledo Saturday, but he later was released with no charges filed as of Sunday night.

Kyle Sheppard, 29, suspected in the death of his wife Katie Sheppard, also 29, at their West Toledo home Friday night, was arrested Sunday in Saguenay, Quebec, according to Toledo police.

Toledo Blade Homicide Report

He was awaiting extradition, which might take a long time, Toledo police Detective Jeff Clark said. Canadian police had been  on the lookout for Mr. Sheppard after an arrest warrant for one count of murder was issued for him in Toledo Saturday, Detective Clark said.

Neighbors were incredulous to learn of Mrs. Sheppard's death and that Mr. Sheppard had fled and that he was charged with the crime.

“It's unbelievable,” said Antonio Booker, 44, a private contractor who lives across the street. “I was blown back. I am shocked. I am shocked."

"He’s a real nice guy. I would have never thought it. Nice people. Never saw any blowups, or arguments, or nothing,” Mr. Booker added.

Rick Heminger, 54, a next-door neighbor, said the couple were “excellent neighbors.”

“They were both very nice people” he said. “She was just a sweetheart. They were both very decent. They were both very low key.”

Mrs. Sheppard was found by police at 10:20 p.m. Friday in an enclosed front porch, covered by a blanket, Toledo police said. Mrs. Sheppard was apparently strangled, according to court documents. Police found no forced entry into the home. They also found that someone had attempted to clean up the crime scene.

Police said they were called to the house in the 1800 block of Rivard Road near Reynolds Corners after Mrs. Sheppard failed to show up for work and did not answer phone calls from co-workers. Investigators later determined that Mr. Sheppard had fled to Canada on Friday morning. He is from Ontario, according to his Facebook page.

The couple were married Sept. 20, 2008, marriage records show. Mr. Booker said they both worked but he wasn't sure where. 

In the Oregon incident, Jacob Kutsch, 21, was arrested and charged with murder after the death Saturday night of his father, John Kutsch, 58, who neighbors say was a respiratory therapist at an area hospital. Jacob Kutsch was being held in the Lucas County jail in lieu of $250,000 bond pending arraignment.

Oregon police said that a Life Squad arrived at a house in the 1100 block of Earlwood Avenue to find John Kutsch unconscious and unresponsive. He was pronounced dead at 7:05 p.m. There was a violent physical altercation at the house shortly before the elder Mr. Kutsch's death, police said.

A neighbor, Judi English, 73, who is a retired store clerk, said of the father's death, "It's a tragedy for both of them."

Besides Jacob Kutsch, the elder Mr. Kutsch leaves a brother and two other sons, both adult, according to neighbors. The victim was killed in the house where he grew up and where he lived with his son Jacob, Ms. English said.

Jackie Stanton, 32, a teacher at Oregon schools who is also a neighbor, said "John Kutsch was a great friend and neighbor."

She said she was trick-or-treating, handing out candy on her front porch when an ambulance and police squad cars arrived on the street.

"Then the whole neighborhood was out, worried and concerned about John," she said.

In an unrelated incident, Toledo police initially questioned a man who had called them to report a domestic incident. Charity Marshall, the woman he complained about, was found dead in a South Toledo apartment after a standoff with police Saturday.

Police then said Sunday they believed she had suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Lt. Anne Ralston, an Ohio Highway Patrol spokesman in Columbus, said the man in question is Trooper Robert A. Marshall, 28, of the patrol's Toledo post, who has been with the patrol "just short of seven years." Though no charges against him had been filed, he was placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the police investigation, Lieutenant Ralston said.

Police said a man called them about 5 p.m. from an apartment in the 2500 block of Heather Hills Road to report that his wife had threatened him with a gun and that he had locked himself in a separate room.

The man, thought to be a resident of the apartment, told police that he was in the bathroom and had heard a gunshot police said. Investigators believed Sunday that the woman then turned the gun on herself, according to police.

When police arrived, no one answered the door. Police negotiators had some phone contact with the man who had called 911, but the door was never opened for authorities. Other residents of the apartment building were removed, and about 7:30 p.m. police entered the apartment, using a key from the building management.

The investigation continues, police said.

John Kutsch's death brings the number of homicides in the Toledo metro area to 39; there have been 27 homicides in Toledo.

Contact Mike Sigov at: sigov@theblade.com, or 419-724-6089