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A Michigan man convicted of killing a Windsor woman and assaulting her pregnant daughter more than two decades ago has now been charged with the first-degree murder of his girlfriend in Center Line, MI.
William Faulkner, 68, was arrested Jan. 9 after Center Line police discovered Juliette Peterson’s clothed body with stab wounds in the bathtub at the apartment they shared, according to Paul Myszenski, the municipality’s director of public safety.
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Tasha Porter told the Star Tuesday she still has a “soft spot” on her skull from where Faulkner smashed it against a coffee table after she found her unconscious mother, Sandra Porter, bleeding at the bottom of a staircase in their Windsor home in 1996.
Sandra died in hospital the next day at age 45 having sustained two severe blows to the head, while Porter, then 19, remained in a coma for weeks and missed her mother’s funeral. Her unborn baby was unharmed.
“I was in shock to see his face,” Porter, now 42, said of Faulkner. She learned Faulkner had been charged with murder again while watching an American news broadcast Monday night. “I’m still having a really hard time wrapping my head around it.”
Following his arrest in May of 1996 and subsequent conviction for manslaughter and aggravated assault, Faulkner spent about four years of a 10-year sentence behind bars in Canada before being released on full parole and deported to the United States. That prison stay wasn’t long enough, Porter said, and she intends to testify for the prosecution in Faulkner’s recent case during a future hearing.
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“I need justice served,” Porter said. Faulkner had been in an off and on relationship with her mother Sandra “many years” before he killed her, Porter added.
“I need some peace in my life. I need this man to never be able to kill again and to make another family go through what I’m going through.”
She went on to say: “We have to fight for our justice system to improve on serious crimes. They are not being rehabilitated. They’re free to do it again and people have to suffer all over again. People are losing lives and it’s not fair.”
Myszenski called the recent case with Faulkner “completely and totally bizarre.” His police department’s involvement began around 11 p.m. on Jan. 9 when Faulkner walked into the Centre Line police station and asked officers to do a welfare check on his girlfriend in the apartment they shared directly across the street.
“My officers instantly became suspicious about what was going on,” said Myszenski. “If you live together, why do we have to do a welfare check? You have the keys, go check on her yourself.”
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Two officers accompanied Faulkner to the apartment where they discovered 68-year-old Peterson dead in the bathroom. The only blood visible in the apartment was pooled in the tub around her because Faulkner had “cleaned up the mess on the floor and everything else,” Myszenski said.
“The minute the officer announces he found her and she’s dead — he didn’t say anything else — (Faulkner) just turned his back to the officer and put his hands behind his back to be handcuffed.”
In 1996, the first officer to arrive at the residence following Porter’s frantic 911 call from the west Windsor address was greeted by Faulkner, who had his arms outstretched and reportedly told the officer to handcuff him.
Inside the home, the officer found Sandra lying at the foot of the basement stairs, her head in a pool of blood. Another officer followed Porter’s screams and found her sitting on the toilet, her hair and face covered with blood.
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When Faulkner pleaded guilty to manslaughter and aggravated assault in December of 1997, he admitted to pushing Sandra down the basement stairs and hitting Porter’s head against the coffee table once.
The late Superior Court Justice Gordon Thomson then told the court, based on the evidence presented, the Crown couldn’t show Faulkner intended to kill Sandra or assaulted her in a way likely to cause death, which is necessary to prove the initial charge of second-degree murder.
For the attempted murder charge against Faulkner relating to the attack on Porter, Thomson said, proof of intent would have been difficult to prove based on the evidence presented.
After delivering Faulkner a sentence of seven more years in prison in February of 1998 (on top of what he’d already served), Thomson said he believed Faulkner could be rehabilitated.
Center Line police only learned of Faulkner’s Windsor conviction on Saturday, when the adult son of Faulkner and Peterson told detectives: “He’s done it before in Canada,” Myszenski said.
“Usually if you have a violent murder like that, especially with an on and off relationship, there’s some type of police interaction, a call for domestic violence and that kind of stuff,” he said. “We’d never had any of that with regards to them. This took us by surprise.”
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — Two General Motors employees driving new 2020 Corvette Stingrays apparently had a need for speed. The pair were clocked going about 160 kilometres per hour on a public road in Bowling Green, Kentucky, according to local news outlets citing the state police. The speed limit was 72 km/h. Alexander Thim, 27, of West Bloomfield, Michigan, and Mark Derkatz, 30, of Windsor, Ontario, were pulled over Wednesday night. Police say Thim reached speeds up to 193 km/h, news outlets reported.According to the arrest citation, the drivers told police they had been at a pool hall earlier in the night.
Myszenski said Center Line police reached out to the Windsor Police Service for information on the ’96 case and received it.
Windsor police were unable to provide comment on the matter Wednesday.
Regarding Porter’s offer to testify, Myszenski said Michigan courts take into consideration past offences in murder cases when considering current charges.
“They’re going to be able to use some of the similarities in the testimony from her to help on this case,” Myszenski said. “This is something he’s done before.”
Faulkner is currently being held at Macomb County Jail. He is scheduled to appear before the district court for a probable-cause conference on Jan. 22.
If convicted of first-degree murder, Faulkner would face a mandatory term of life in prison with no possibility of parole.
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