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Posted on Mon, Jan 14, 2013 : 12:20 p.m.

Police: Pittsfield Township woman died of multiple stab wounds

By John Counts


Jean-Pierre Trias

Courtesy of the WCSO

The 53-year-old Pittsfield Township woman whose husband is being held on a charge of open murder died of multiple stab wounds, police said.

Katherine Porter's husband, 44-year-old Jean-Pierre Trias, was arraigned Sunday on an open murder charge in the stabbing death.

"Some type of domestic-related disturbance" preceded the stabbing, said Pittsfield Township Public Safety Director Matthew Harshberger.

Trias was a part-time lecturer/adjunct faculty member at Eastern Michigan University from Sept. 1, 2003 to Dec 31, 2012 in the Mathematics Department, spokesman Geoff Larcom said. He taught on and off, depending on the semester, according to Larcom.

"He sometimes taught a class, sometimes didn't. It's a semester to semester employment," Larcom said. He is not teaching this semester, Larcom said.

He also held a part time position as coordinator of math tutoring and testing services from Aug 30, 2004 to Jan. 15, 2011.

He was a graduate assistant from July 1, 2002 to July 21, 2003.

Pittsfield police discovered the woman's body at the couple's home in the 4700 block of Hickory Pointe Boulevard Friday afternoon after being asked to perform a welfare check. Porter was found deceased and Trias was taken into custody.

The Michigan State Police Crime Lab processed the scene.

A preliminary examination date has been scheduled for Jan. 22. Trias is being held in the Washtenaw County Jail with no bond.

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



Tue, Jan 15, 2013 : 2:26 p.m.

What is 'open murder?'


Tue, Jan 15, 2013 : 9:07 p.m.

I like how I got voted down for asking a question. It made me laugh. btw, thanks for the answers.


Tue, Jan 15, 2013 : 5:07 p.m.

It means he can be prosecuted and convicted of either first or second degree murder. The prosecutor can amend the charge to a specific degree, or leave it for the jury to decide the approach degree if convicted.

Kyle Feldscher

Tue, Jan 15, 2013 : 4:39 p.m.

Enso- A charge of open murder allows the jury to distinguish if it was first-degree or second-degree murder. Basically, the charge takes the burden off prosecutors, who would otherwise have to prove a motive and premeditation for first-degree murder, as opposed to simply proving a murder took place.


Mon, Jan 14, 2013 : 9:06 p.m.

I live in the adjacent subdivision, and heard what sounded like gunshots that evening. There is acreage across the street that people hunt and a gun club about a mile away, so hearing gunshot is something not out of the ordinary.


Tue, Jan 15, 2013 : 12:15 a.m.

Gun clubs don't normally allow shooting after dark.


Mon, Jan 14, 2013 : 8:42 p.m.

Now, who stabbed the husband to death?


Mon, Jan 14, 2013 : 8:45 p.m.

Yes, that first sentence could use a couple of commas for clarity.


Mon, Jan 14, 2013 : 8:33 p.m.

Welp he wont ever see a knife again. Or a steak


Mon, Jan 14, 2013 : 7:35 p.m.

Wow...that is brutal.


Mon, Jan 14, 2013 : 7:20 p.m.

I'm so sorry for everyone involved here including those who knew or loved Katherine Porter. We never know the thoughts of another until something like this happens.


Mon, Jan 21, 2013 : 7:30 a.m.

Yes they matter. Everyone matters. But, are they mourning the murder of a loved one? Also, "everyone involved here" includes JP and the people who knew him.


Mon, Jan 21, 2013 : 5:39 a.m.

what about the people who know and love JP do they not matter???

John Counts

Mon, Jan 14, 2013 : 6:52 p.m.

I asked Harshberger about the wounds on Trias' face and if they were connected with the incident. He did not want to confirm or deny if they were at this time.


Mon, Jan 14, 2013 : 6:15 p.m.

Crazy, whats with the facial injures, was he defending himself from her ? Kind of odd he did not call the police.


Mon, Jan 14, 2013 : 6:29 p.m.

No, more like a classic sign that she was trying to defend herself.


Mon, Jan 14, 2013 : 6:27 p.m.

I would expect that if someone was stabbed with a knife multiple times, the attacker would have some type of wounds. People being stabbed tend to fight back.

John Counts

Mon, Jan 14, 2013 : 6:11 p.m.

Harshberger also said there were no firearms suspected in the incident.


Tue, Jan 15, 2013 : 5:09 p.m.

We are neighbors in very close proximity. I heard nothing that evening.

John Counts

Tue, Jan 15, 2013 : 2:59 p.m.

jcj: I can't speak to anything residents in the area heard. In our previous reports on this, some of the residents we interviewed reported hearing shots. We are aware there is a shooting range in the area, as well. As indicated in the comment that began this thread, I asked Harshberger if there were firearms involved in the incident and he said there were not.


Mon, Jan 14, 2013 : 10:15 p.m.

John are you saying you can't speak to what residents in the neighborhood heard or Harshberger could not speak to that?

John Counts

Mon, Jan 14, 2013 : 7:47 p.m.

EightySeven: It's standard journalistic procedure to use full name and title on the first reference, which I did up in the story. After first reference, just the last name is used. This always applies to stories. While others might do something different in comments, I follow the same practice for the sake of brevity.


Mon, Jan 14, 2013 : 7:11 p.m.

@John it seems a little disrespectful to refer to Matt Harshberger as "Harshberger". I'm sure he has a professional title that would be better used.

John Counts

Mon, Jan 14, 2013 : 6:49 p.m.

I asked Harshberger if there were firearms involved because of what was previously told to us and reported. He said there weren't. I can't speak to what residents in the area heard at the time.


Mon, Jan 14, 2013 : 6:39 p.m.

I wouldn't be surprised if neighbors heard loud noises from the home around that time which were mistaken for gun shots when thinking back to the night and based on knowing that someone in the home had been killed. If you hear loud noises and then later hear that someone was killed, it's easy for the brain to make the jump of saying, "oh it must have been gun shots".

dading dont delete me bro

Mon, Jan 14, 2013 : 6:29 p.m.

a2citizen, yes i was alluding to that.


Mon, Jan 14, 2013 : 6:23 p.m.

I believe dading is alluding to comments from the initial article. "...Some neighbors who spoke to said they heard what sounded like gunshots Thursday night. A man who lives on Hickory Pointe Boulevard said his wife told him she heard the noises. The man, who didn't want to be named, also said people came and went frequently at the home. A boy who lives in the neighborhood said the gunshot-like sounds woke him up about 10:15 p.m. Thursday..."

dading dont delete me bro

Mon, Jan 14, 2013 : 5:48 p.m.

so sad. interesting to hear if the neighbors still heard gunshots...


Thu, Feb 21, 2013 : 3:51 p.m.

see above


Mon, Jan 21, 2013 : 5:38 a.m.

why would hear gun shots if she was stabbed?


Mon, Jan 14, 2013 : 6:24 p.m.

From what I understand they lived near a gun range. So the shots heard may well be from there.