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Posted on Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 5:58 a.m.

'We miss her greatly': Co-workers remember slain Pittsfield Township woman

By Kyle Feldscher

Colleagues are mourning the loss of Katherine Kellogg Porter, who was found dead from multiple stab wounds Friday in her Pittsfield Township home.

Greg Stout, vice president of client services at Advantage Computing Systems, said Porter worked as a senior systems analyst for the company. Her death was a great loss for her co-workers at Advantage, where worked for 13 years.

“We miss her greatly, both personally and professionally,” he said.

Pittsfield Township police were called to Porter’s home in the 4700 block of Hickory Pointe Boulevard at 4:45 p.m. Friday to check on her. She was found dead and her 44-year-old husband, Jean-Pierre Trias, was arrested.


Jean-Pierre Trias

Courtesy of the WCSO

Police said earlier this week Porter died from multiple stab wounds. Trias has been charged with one count of open murder in the case and is being held in the Washtenaw County Jail without bond.

Funeral arrangements for Porter are unclear at this point. Several local funeral homes reached by Tuesday afternoon said they were not handling her services.

Porter and Trias were married in Philadelphia in August 1995, but records show Trias filed for divorce from Porter in October 2010. According to the filing, the couple had not been living together for a month at that point and they had separate addresses listed in the filing.

Records show Porter denied the marriage was damaged beyond repair, despite a break down. On Nov. 4, 2010, the couple signed a document asking for the case to be dismissed without prejudice and the proceedings were never completed.

To this point, Pittsfield Township police have not said whether there was a history of domestic violence in the relationship. A search of court records found no criminal charges filed in Washtenaw County against either Porter or Trias prior to Porter's death.

Barbara Niess-May, executive director of Safehouse in Ann Arbor, called Porter’s death a tragedy.

She encouraged anyone who is in a violent domestic relationship or anyone who believes they know someone in a violent domestic relationship to speak up.

Safehouse responds to approximately 1,700 domestic violence incidents in Washtenaw County every year. After every domestic violence incident in the county, police agencies contact Safehouse and a representative responds in person to the scene, hospital or jail - wherever they’re needed. Niess-May said they assist police in any way they can in investigations.

Tragic situations can be avoided if just one person speaks out about something they see or they’re experiencing, she said.

For more information on Safehouse, visit its website. Anyone who would like to contact Safehouse directly can call the 24-hour hotline at 734-995-5444.

Kyle Feldscher covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.



Mon, Jan 21, 2013 : 6 a.m.

This news story has given me a lot of pain and my wife and son also share this pain. This is the first time in our lives a person directly known to us is charged with murder. It definitely calls for a lot of introspection as we try to interpret as to how this fine human being is in this most unfortunate situation. I share my thoughts with the community using this open discussion forum. It is not about reading a news paper or a news column. We as readers must be able to communicate as to how we receive a story that is reported here.


Mon, Jan 21, 2013 : 4:45 p.m.

I share your feeling. The fact of murder and loss of life cannot be ignored. By throwing JP in a prison will not take away that pain. The prevention of violence that could be advocated as a public health initiative would be the promotion of spiritual relationships.


Mon, Jan 21, 2013 : 6:27 a.m.

The death of Kathie has given many of us a lot of pain and grief. It is the first time in my life anybody I have cared about has been murdered. There is no excuse for the brutal taking of her life. It doesn't matter how 'good' a person can portray themselves to be to most. That is a big aspect of psychosis.


Sat, Jan 19, 2013 : 6:39 p.m.

The need for 'Anger' Management: This is in response to the touching comment shared by Ann23. This tragic loss of precious human life could generate an emotion called 'Anger'. But, this event itself may have been caused by a disturbance in the mind that accompanies anger. Violent human behavior is often caused or is associated with feelings of anger. If a person remains calm, still, and at peace, the mental disturbance caused by anger would not lead to the expression of violent action and behavior. We as a community do not benefit by reacting with anger. Based upon my understanding of human spirit and soul, I am recommending the use of emotion called 'Devotion' to acquire the ability to remain calm, still, and at peace while experiencing a mental disturbance that is leading towards anger. Devotion is known to most of us. Apart from God or religion, people display the emotional attitude of devotion in the performance of a variety of activities such as employment, patriotic duty, and defending their own family members from danger. The power of devotion keeps me at peace and at the same time would plant the seeds of peace, harmony, and tranquility in the person who may be interacting with me.


Mon, Jan 21, 2013 : 6:15 a.m.

And, it has everything to do with what the person it was done to went through and what those who valued her life are going through. It has everything to do with how the selfish actions of one affected...


Mon, Jan 21, 2013 : 6:08 a.m.

It's not about the feeling itself, but what you do with it.


Mon, Jan 21, 2013 : 5:36 a.m.

i dont know who you are but can you please stop being so psychological about everything its annoying when people try and break things down into a science. killing someone has nothing to do with god or religion nor does whatever the person who did it is going through.


Mon, Jan 21, 2013 : 4:28 a.m.

Basically, I think that anger is a normal human emotion and is not in itself dangerous. Otherwise we would be in more trouble than we are. Anger, when felt by a normal mature adult can actually bring about good change. I feel anger over child abuse. I feel anger over domestic violence and how it affects the children involved. So, I work to do what I can to correct it. Unfortunately, you can't always have peace and harmony when fighting the evils of this world. Good and evil don't mix. Anger, in a mature person, can incite them to act in a way that benefits all. Psychosis brings action that ignores the humanity of others and only benefits the individual.


Mon, Jan 21, 2013 : 4:09 a.m.

I think I partially agree with you. But, I would argue that anger is a normal human emotion that everybody feels and struggles with whether they want to or not. An incident like this goes beyond anger management. To watch somebody go through such pain and feel indifferent to it and no need to stop causing it is not a normal human behavior. It is psychosis. Everybody feels anger and struggles with it at some point or another. Not everybody would knowingly cause such pain to another person, no matter how angry they are, thank God. Somebody who would knowingly cause burns and broken ribs in a 5 month old infant has issues that go beyond anger management. Somebody who would repeatedly sexually assault a child has issues that go beyond anger management. Repeated domestic violence goes beyond anger management. I would argue that nurture is a stronger influence than nature when it comes to psychosis. Therefore, we can make a difference and at least some of this is preventable.


Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 10:07 p.m.

In shock and disbelief and trying to make sense of this, yes. Especially in the first few days before the way she died was known. As far as I know, nobody wanted to believe it or think that JP would do this. With the shock and disbelief her friends, family and co-workers have deep feelings of sorrow, loss, and grief, this includes her family by marriage that loved her. For me, finding out the way she died made it more painful. Thinking about what she went through and knowing that her death was not due to a tragic accident or a split second of bad judgement but was very intentional. Unfortunately, at this point, the chances of it being somebody other than JP that killed her seem very slim. And, I can't see how there could be any good justification for her murder at this point. With grief and the grieving process comes anger. And, those who loved and cared about Kathie have a right to whatever feelings they experience. It is tragic. And, people who are seen as good by many can do things like this. In my opinion, whether they seemed good or not, they did what they did and there is no excuse for it and no amount of past goodness towards people in their life makes up for it. I do not hate JP, but sometimes I feel angry about what was done to Kathie. You are right, it is not absolutely proven yet and there is at least a slim possibility there is another explanation. I would welcome that but, in the meantime, based on what we know about how quickly he was arrested and the fact that he was charged with open-murder, not manslaughter, I don't see any justification in judging somebody who feels anger towards him. But, I admire your compassion.


Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 10:48 p.m.

I posted this wrong, it was meant to be a response under the first comment.


Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 5:26 a.m.

PRAYERS FOR JP'S WELL-BEING: I must admit that my son who had attended EMU in the past had known JP of Maths Department for about six years. I never met him, but I know about him. I sincerely appreciate the sense of warmth he had projected in his relationship with his students. I have no hesitation to seek his continued well-being for I understand that he is a good and caring person. This is a tragedy that could have been prevented. I want to let him, his family, and friends know that he is in my thoughts and prayers. I find fault with our educational system and health care system for not giving people the knowledge about Spirit and Soul that people can use as a guiding and regulating mechanism to express action and behavior that leads to the development of harmonious social relationships. I would like to ask to share a photo image that better reflects his true human nature.

William Gilbert

Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 10:16 p.m.

I knew JP for a few years, and i also knew his wife a little i can not believe JP capable of this as alleged. JP was such a caring simple person, bright and outgoing. I have a hard time believing this is him. We lost contact after his father passed away a few years ago so this is a huge shock to me, as i am sure the loss of katherine is to her family, friends and co workers. Regrettably i think there is only 1 side of the story to hear as katherine is gone. Hopefully the police made a mistake and this is just a nightmare. Time will tell. i agree with Michelle lets here the facts before we jump to conclusions. My prayers to Katherines family friends and co workers and the same for JP.


Mon, Jan 21, 2013 : 6:30 a.m.

Time will tell.


Mon, Jan 21, 2013 : 5:32 a.m.

i know JP couldnt have done this no way in hell...i just talked to him last yer and he was waitin to come back out and play disc golf again with everyone.


Sat, Jan 19, 2013 : 1:38 a.m.

It is painful and senseless. I have also wished it was just a nightmare. But I was faced with reality all week. Her laugh, her smile, her humor and wisdom are gone. I am sorry for what you are feeling and if there is any way that this was not done by her husband, somebody she valued and loved, I would be grateful.


Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 7:25 p.m.

Man is a Social Being: Thanks for asking the question. Man has no choice other than that of being a member of a social community and much of human behavior is in reality is social behavior. I am expressing my concern about the patient-centered approach of psychological therapy and practice. We expect to treat specific problems that occur in specific individuals and tend to ignore that there could be a problem with the social group or community with which individual may interact. Among primates including man, the social behavior is not the sum of individual behaviors. The group affects the behavior of the individual. If the individual experiences many social interactions that desire peace, harmony, and tranquility, the individual imitates that behavior.


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 7:24 p.m.

Regardless Michelle, a life was taken. He could have walked out if he was so nice.


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 6:41 p.m.

The Problem of Human Relationships: This tragedy reflects upon our ability to formulate a human relationship that would generate peace, harmony, and tranquility in the living experience of the individuals involved in the relationship. My idea of sharing the comment is not that of finding fault with either of these persons. My concern is that of a society and community not sharing values to promote such peace, harmony, and tranquility in the lives of individual members. Such a change in human action and behavior would become possible if the emotional condition called 'devotion' is established as a guiding principle for action and behavior. When 'devotion' is established, the person displays the behavior and attitude called 'humility'. If most of us express this behavior and attitude of 'humility', it will be easy to others to learn and reproduce it in their lives.


Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 5:40 p.m.

Even if I accepted your premise, where does such a community exist?

Kyle Feldscher

Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 5:42 p.m.

Will and Barb - I would have truly liked to have put Katherine's photo in here and thought the same thing before publishing. However, my attempts to get in touch with Katherine's family and friends to talk about her have not been reciprocated so far. I've not been able to find a obituary for her that might have a picture and her Facebook profile does not include any photos of her either. Once I have a photo of her, I'll run it in accompanying stories.


Mon, Jan 21, 2013 : 5:29 a.m.

the obit was in the paper today

Kyle Feldscher

Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 8:38 p.m.

seldon - Legally, yes, we can. I'd prefer to talk to her family and go through them though. I was just referring to possible outlets where we could possibly obtain a photo.


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 8:22 p.m.

I agree with Seldon, don't use her facebook photos with out her family's permission. Give her some respect since her life will already be broadcast via the trial.


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 7:29 p.m.

Do you believe you could legally use her Facebook photos here?


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 4:59 p.m.

I second Will's comment. His pic is nowhere near as important than the victim's..


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 3:42 p.m.

Given the title of this article, I wish the picture would have been of Katherine.


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 2:23 p.m.

Kyle: The Facebook timeline posted by Porter and Trias indicates a marriage on August 28, 2011. Any explanation as to why?


Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 2:43 a.m.

On facebook, when you use the option to show that you are married to another facebook user facebook shows the date that action was done, not the date of the actual marriage.

Kyle Feldscher

Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 5:43 p.m.

halflight - I'm not sure, I can only say what was in the divorce records. Perhaps that's just the day she updated her Facebook timeline and didn't do it correctly? Sorry, I don't really have a good explanation.


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : noon

Oh, so that's what Safehouse does. They assist police with investigations. I've always wondered.

music to my ear

Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 8:51 p.m.

safe house also takes victims out of harms way to protect them from this very thing that happened to Katherine. they place them with people associated with the program until the abused persons women and men of domestic violence can seek permanent protection which is also hard for victims, kinda like the witness protection program. some do have to start all over again .imagine just to stay alive..


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 2:08 p.m.

I'm genuinely curious what the point of this comment was.

Michelle Pierson

Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 11:52 a.m.

Let us hear both sides of the story, first, some folks in the community knew this person, and suggest he was a very kind, simple man, who could barely throw a disc golf, due to how weak he wa, so, let us wait to hear everything, before we all judge, lest we be judged!


Mon, Jan 21, 2013 : 6:12 a.m.

This has nothing to to with how he was as a disc golf player or how good he was to most. This has to do with the fact that a valued life was senselessly taken.


Mon, Jan 21, 2013 : 5:28 a.m.

how dare you talk bad about jp and saying that is bad at disc golf how would you know what he shot in a normal round? he was a great disc golfer and good guy


Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 1:36 p.m.

Ann, I'm not saying there's ever a good reason to take a life, but I am saying there aren't a lot of facts given to us right now and that Rachel's reaction was harsh given that we don't know everything. This is a tragedy for every one involved and I know the family and friends of the couple are in complete and utter disbelief. I just think that especially with the family so surprised, we should take a step back and reserve judgement until we know what really happened instead of just this small handful of facts.

Rachel MD

Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 6:42 a.m.

Thank you, Ann. I agree with all of your comments and like you said, some of us do know more facts than just the ones laid out in these articles. My husband worked for Advantage and we know the owner of the company personally as well as many of the people she worked with. It's so very tragic and like you said, even in cases of mental illness it is still a horrible loss and it is not something that justifies a wonderful life being lost. I do not mean to come across as self-righteous. As a struggler of mental illness myself I do have sympathy for any one who struggles with it. Clearly mental illness was a factor because one would have to be mentally ill to commit such a crime. It is one thing to suffer and be miserable but taking another persons life is not an acceptable way to cope with your struggles. I think I've said enough on the subject for now.


Fri, Jan 18, 2013 : 1:30 a.m.

ypsicollegegal, we are certainly allowed to have our own opinions without it having been proven in court yet. Whether drugs or alcohol were involved, in my opinion, is irrelevant and not a valid excuse for taking a life. There are those who have a good idea of whether or not he had mental health issues and again, mental health issues are not a valid excuse for taking a life. The scenario you proposed doesn't work very well with what is already known. I'm sure there a lot more facts yet to come out. Like whether or not evidence of her scratching his face is found on her fingernails. And, her time of death or why somebody had to call for a welfare check before her body was discovered. Some additional facts are already known to some people and not others. Rachel MD is not being self-righteous, she is upset over the senseless death of a wonderful person.


Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 5:21 p.m.

Rachel- It's innocent until proven guilty. Even after that, none of us know the circumstances of the situation. We don't know if drugs or alcohol were involved, which can really change a person if they have medical issues. On that note, we don't know if there was some medical issues happening (like mental illness). You don't even know if he already found her dead and just shut down because his beloved wife was lying there dead. Husbands are always the first suspect and let's face it, probable cause is pretty easy to get even if some one is innocent. So don't be so self-righteous when NONE OF US know all the facts yet.

Rachel MD

Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 9:35 a.m.

Also, to the person asking about children, the answer is no, they did not have any. In this case I think that is a good thing. No child should have to go through life knowing that their mother was murdered by their father.

Rachel MD

Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 9:30 a.m.

I'm sorry but the man didn't even call for help. He left the woman to die. She was found, and not because he called the authorities to report it. He also has severe scratch marks on his face. She clearly was fighting him off. He also stabbed her REPEATEDLY! I don't think you can be extremely weak and stab someone who is fighting for their life multiple times. And like it was stated above, we will never get to hear her side of the story. This is a true tragedy. I don't think it's judgement to say that.

Kyle Feldscher

Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 6:15 p.m.

HB11 - He was a part time lecturer and adjunct professor at EMU previously.


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 4:20 p.m.

Wasn't he a college math professor?


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 3:03 p.m.

Michelle, I think you are right about us not knowing what went on. This is a real tragedy and newspaper articles can't really tell us what happened. Crimes of passion change things forever.

music to my ear

Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 2:31 p.m.

I seen his picture on face book but I thought "thats not the same guy" what a drastic change. so sorry for her did she have children?


Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : 2:02 p.m.

I can certainly wait to hear his side but I will never hear hers.

Craig Lounsbury

Wed, Jan 16, 2013 : noon

too weak to throw a Frisbee you say?