Re: Man arrested in his parents' killings

Started by tramoore, March 13, 2008, 06:30:50 PM

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Police arrested the 24-year-old son of a White Lake Township employee and her husband found stabbed to death Thursday in their home.

White Lake Township Police Chief Ronald Stephens said police have questioned Mark A. Ott in the killings of deputy treasurer Barbara Ott and her husband, Michael, who were found dead about 9 a.m. by their 18-year-old son Chris Ott.

Stephens declined to say what evidence led to the arrest.

Autopsies are expected to be performed today, according to the Oakland County Medical Examiner's Office. Both Barbara and Michael Ott were 57. It is the township's first slaying in years, the chief said.

According to Stephens, Chris Ott was awakened by a phone call from a Home Depot employee looking for his father. Michael Ott owned a home-based electrical company, Brite Electrical Services Inc.

Both sons lived at home, Stephens said.

Chris Ott heard running water upstairs. His father was unclothed and on the floor, with stab wounds. The shower was running. Barbara Ott was sideways on the couple's bed, with defensive stab wounds on her arms, Stephens said.

Both were dead.

"There was blood all over the place," Stephens said.

Neighbors described the scene on the normally quiet cul-de-sac near Pontiac Lake as chaotic Thursday morning, with helicopters overhead and yellow police tape ringing the couple's gray, two-story house with black shutters on the ice-covered Wiggen Lane.

Stephens said police had been called to the home at least once before because of arguments between Mark Ott and his mother.

Mark Ott has bipolar disorder and he recently stopped taking his medication, Stephens said.

The Oakland County Sheriff's Office took Mark Ott into custody Thursday afternoon near 6 Mile and Telegraph roads in Redford Township. Authorities had been looking for him for hours after he had driven away from the home in the family car, a red Kia Spectra.

Chris Ott was apparently the last person to see his parents alive, Stephens said. He came home Wednesday at about 10 p.m., saw his parents and went to bed.

White Lake Township offices were closed Thursday as employees mourned Barbara Ott's death. She had worked for the township for more than 10 years; her husband also did electrical work for the township.

Township Supervisor Mike Kowall said Barbara Ott always had a smile on her face.

"She was a very nice person, a very capable person," said Kowall.

Forrest Brendel, a trustee on the White Lake Township Board, said Barbara Ott was Treasurer Beverly Spoor's "right hand, her right arm."


Double-murder suspect Mark Ott is scheduled for a forensic examine in order to determine if he can be held criminally responsible for the deaths of his parents, as well to to find out if he is competent to stand trail, according to the Oakland County Prosecutor's Office.

An attorney representing Ott requested the state exam during a court hearing held last week.

Ott is further expected in court on Friday, May 23 with the results of the forensic examine to be presented, said Assistant Prosecutor Lisa Gorcya.

Ott was charged with the murder of his parents, White Lake Township Deputy Treasurer Barbara Ott and her husband, Michael Ott, during a Saturday, Feb. 23 arraignment.

Mark Ott faces two first-degree murder charges and two counts of felony murder. He would be sentenced to life in prison without parole if convicted.

The 24-year-old suspect is currently lodged in the Oakland County Jail. He stood silent in an Oakland County Circuit courtroom while the charges were read. Bond was denied. He has been assigned a lawyer.

During the arraignment, White Lake Township police stated they found notebook writings by Mark Ott detailing how to kill someone, clean up the blood, and make a get-a-way. The pages also reportedly included a list of things to steal from his parents' home.

Barbara and Michael Ott were found stabbed to death inside their home during the morning of Thursday, Feb. 21. Their younger son, Christopher, discovered the bodies, according to White Lake Township police.

When officers arrived at the Ott home in the 2200 block of Wiggen Lane, Michael was found in a bathroom with numerous stab wounds and the floor covered in blood, according to White Lake Police Chief Ronald Stephens. The shower was still running when police arrived.

Barbara was found in a bedroom on a bed and also had multiple stab wounds, Stephens said, adding that blood evidence has found throughout the home.

There were indications that both victims put up a fight.

A Friday, Feb. 22 autopsy on Barbara and Michael Ott's bodies determined the couple had been murdered.

Mark Ott had been unreachable and missing since the morning of the murders, after he reportedly drove off in a maroon 2008 Kia Spectra. He is said to suffer from bipolar disorder and reportedly had stopped taking his medication.

White Lake police reportedly were familiar with Mark Ott, including through response to domestic calls at the family's home.

Mark was located in the family's missing vehicle by the Oakland County Sheriff's Department deputies in the area of Telegraph and Six Mile roads during the afternoon hours of Thursday, Feb. 21, and was apprehended. He reportedly refused to cooperate with police during questioning.

The county's Crime Suppression Task Force and The Fugitive Apprehension Team located Mark Ott and arrested him with the assistance of the Redford Township Police Department.

A handgun, believed to be his father's, and other evidence -- such as a television sets missing from the Ott home -- allegedly were recovered at the scene of the arrest, but White Lake Police Lt. Ed Harris couldn't confirm the details of that evidence.

Stephens said investigators had collected a series of knives, but added that he couldn't confirm whether one of them was the murder weapon.

Barbara Ott had been a township employee for nearly a decade, according to White Lake Township Supervisor Mike Kowall; and Michael Ott was a self-employed electrician who had done work in the township offices.

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