IONIA — A Belding woman was bound over for trial on a charge of intent to murder after she allegedly drunkenly twice shot at a Belding man she had met via Facebook Dating because of “his facial expression.”
When a police officer informed her she had missed striking the man, the woman allegedly said, “Oh darn,” and smirked.
Stacey Windeler, 36, appeared for a preliminary examination June 10 before Ionia County District Court Judge Raymond Voet. She is charged with assault with intent to commit murder, felony firearms and possession of a firearm under the influence.
Before the prelim began, Ionia County Prosecutor Kyle Butler noted he had offered a plea deal to Windeler to plead no contest to assault with intent to commit murder and the other two charges would be dismissed; however, she declined.
Michigan State Police Trooper Trevin Antcliff testified about responding to a residence on Fish Road in Otisco Township around 11 p.m. on April 25 where he spoke with Windeler and her husband. The trooper said Windeler was obviously intoxicated.
“Stacey told me she met this guy online and that she felt threatened by him,” the trooper said. “She did admit that she’d been drinking beer … She ended up texting her husband to come rescue her.”
The trooper said Windeler admitted to shooting at the man she had met online.
“She told me she aimed and tried to hit him,” the trooper said.
The trooper said when he asked why, Windeler replied, “(His) facial expression, his stance and the look on his face.
“She said he was calm and not aggressive at all,” the trooper said. “She asked me if she hit him and I told her no. She said, ‘Oh darn’ and then she smirked with a big smile on her face.”
The victim also took the stand to testify, saying he connected with Windeler via Facebook Dating. During their third time together at her house, an argument arose.
“She noticed there was a girl on my phone,” the man said. “She asked who that was and I advised her that it was my daughter-in-law. She didn’t believe me, she got irate with me about it.”
The man said he and Windeler returned to his house and he showed the photo of the woman on his phone to three family members and they all confirmed the woman was his daughter-in-law, which led to the man and Windeler making up and going back to her house.
The man said they ordered dinner and had some drinks and talked. Windeler then called her sister on the phone from the porch while the man laid down inside for about 40 minutes. He said he went back out to check on her, the phone call was still going and she was still drinking.
“She seemed kind of weird,” he said. “I had a gut feeling something was wrong at that time. I asked her if everything was OK, she said ‘yeah.’ I said ‘are you sure?’ and she said ‘I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.’ I said ‘I heard you talking to someone about (expletive) about to get real.’ She said she still didn’t know what the hell I was talking about.”
The man said he told her he was going to walk home and they could talk later. He said as he went to exit through the garage, he began to open the automatic garage door, but it stopped halfway up. He said he turned to look behind him and Windeler was standing there holding a silver handgun with a flashlight on the bottom.
“She pulled out a gun from the black jacket she was wearing and she said ‘you’re not going anywhere.’ I’m like ‘yes I am, I’m going home.’ As my left foot got out the door, that’s when I heard the gun go off. I hightailed it down the driveway,” he recounted.
The man said as he was running through the dark, he turned to look behind him.
“I looked back before I ducked and I noticed she had the flashlight on,” he said. “It was pointed right at me.”
He said Windeler shot at him a second time as he dove behind a dirt pile in a neighboring yard.
Windeler’s defense attorney Tom Ginster questioned the man about multiple Facebook posts he wrote — and later deleted — about the incident. The man admitted he wasn’t truthful with certain details of the posts because the woman was married and he knew it wouldn’t reflect well on him.
Butler said “really there’s no explanation as to why” Windeler allegedly shot at the man.
Ginster didn’t contest that Windeler shot at the man, saying, “If she wanted to hit him, she would have. But she missed him. The second shot was nothing more than a warning shot.”
Ginster asked the judge to only bind over his client on a felonious assault charge.
“(The man) is an internet predator,” Ginster said. “He was stalking her. He has a pattern of invading women’s lives, emotionally vulnerable women, breaking up families and intent to commit extortion.”
However, the judge bound over Windeler on all three charges, noting in particular the police trooper’s testimony about Windeler’s demeanor after the shooting.
Windeler will next appear in Ionia County Circuit Court for arraignment and a future trial. She remains out on bond.