Sand Lake man fatally stabbed; case reviewed


ENSLEY TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) – Family members say a man who died Monday at a Newaygo County home was killed by his girlfriend, who claims she stabbed him in self-defense.

Deputies were called to the home in the 6200 block of E. 124th Street in Ensley Township, southwest of Howard City, on Monday evening on reports of a stabbing, according to a release from the Newaygo County Sheriff’s Office.

There, they found 28-year-old Charles Franklin Rainey of Sand Lake in the entryway of the home with a stab wound to his chest, the release said.

The deputies provided first aid to Rainey until medical help arrived at the home, but shortly after that help arrived, Rainey was pronounced dead, according to the sheriff’s office.

“I was probably the last one to talk to him,” Rainey’s neighbor Esther Flynn told 24 Hour News 8 Tuesday.

Flynn said she saw Rainey, his girlfriend and her little girl outside Monday night. She brought them tomatoes and chocolate milk she had gotten from her church’s food truck on Saturday. She said she didn’t want to see the food spoil, so she brought it to them.

Flynn said she left Rainey’s home just before 9 p.m. Shortly thereafter, she said she saw police cars, fire trucks and an ambulance arrive.

“We didn’t know ’til this morning what had happened. Really a shock because he was a nice, nice guy,” Flynn said.

Family members told 24 Hour News 8 Rainey’s girlfriend stabbed him and said she is claiming self-defense.

Flynn said she found out about Rainey’s death when she and her husband stopped by to see what had happened.

“His sister come down the driveway I said, ‘It’s obvious. We know something happened. We’re the neighbors next door and we want to help Charlie if we can,’” Flynn said. “She said, ‘He’s dead.’”

Flynn said Rainey and his girlfriend have lived in the home next door for several months.

“Never heard them fighting,” she said.

She said nothing seemed wrong when she was at Rainey’s home. Rainey’s girlfriend regularly greeted her when she stopped by and she and Rainey chatted often, she said.

Two people who live at the home were interviewed following Rainey’s, the release said. No arrests were made.

The Newaygo County Prosecutor’s Office is reviewing the case. No charges had been filed as of Monday evening.

Michigan State Police and the Central Michigan Enforcement Team assisted sheriff’s deputies at the scene.

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