Three Suspects Charged With Murder in Stabbing of Michigan Parents

PHOTO: This image shows a man who was killed defending his wife in a brutal attack.
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A Michigan couple's 17-year-old adopted daughter and two other people were charged this morning in connection to Friday's brutal attack on the couple. Police are still investigating the incident that left the father dead and the mother in critical condition, according to officials.

Jonathan Aaron Kurtz, 18, James Leslie Preston, 18, and Tia Marie-Mitchell Skinner, 17, where charged this morning with open murder, attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder, according to Sgt. Daniel Drake of the Michigan State Police.

Paul and Mara Skinner were in bed around midnight Thursday when two people in Halloween masks broke into their Yale home through a bedroom window and began stabbing them as they slept, police said.

Paul Skinner, 47, was able to rouse himself to fight with the attackers, and was eventually able to drive them out of the house, police said.

"They both fought aggressively to save their lives," Yale Police Chief Michael Redman said. "The father was able to fight them back ... I believe saved his wife's life."

The couple's son, who was sleeping in the basement at the time of the attack, heard the commotion as his father was fighting the attackers out of the house and came to help, but too late, police said.

"The son heard a loud noise coming down stairways," Redman said. "When he came up to check, it was after the father was able to get them out of the house and he came in and collapsed."

Skinner's son tried to revive him, but was unable to, the police chief said.

Mara Skinner, a 44-year-old junior high school teacher, was stabbed more than 20 times, but was expected to recover, police said.

Two male suspects were arrested Friday. The Skinners' adopted daughter, who is their niece, Tia Marie-Mitchell Skinner, was in the house at the time of the attack. She was taken into custody Friday.

Michigan State Police Det. Pat Young said the Skinners had disapproved of a relationship the girl was having, and that "may have been a factor" in the attack.

"This was not a spur-of-the-moment, random act," Young said. "This was a planned event which involved several days."

The son, who came to his father's aid was visiting from his home in the Grand Rapids, has not been accused of any involvement, police said. His name has not been released.

"We're very comfortable he's not involved," Young said. "He ran for help. He went to a neighbor's house and physically attempted to help his father."

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