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Posted on Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 12:11 p.m.

Katharine Mishler pleads guilty to 2nd-degree murder for killing husband

By Kyle Feldscher

An Ypsilanti Township woman pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree murder Wednesday for fatally shooting her husband after an argument in March, court officials said.

Katharine Lee Mishler.jpg

Katharine Mishler

Katharine Mishler, who was 23 when she was charged with an open count of murder, likely will serve between 15 and 30 years in prison for shooting and killing Samuel Mishler early on March 23. Mishler originally told police that she had shot an intruder before telling detectives she and her husband had been arguing and she had fired a single bullet into his head.

Mishler was arrested on March 23, arraigned on the charge the next day and has been held since then in the Washtenaw County Jail. Washtenaw County Trial Court Judge Archie Brown will sentence her at 9 a.m. Feb. 1.

According to testimony from her preliminary exam, Mishler shot Samuel Mishler at about 1:45 a.m. March 23 at their Tuscan Creek Apartment in the 200 block of Stevens Drive in Ypsilanti Township. When she first called police, she identified herself as “Kat Jackson” and told dispatchers she had shot an intruder, according to a 911 tape played at the hearing.

Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office Detective Everette Robbins testified he found some inconsistencies in Mishler’s story and pressed her for the truth during questioning.

She eventually told him that she and her husband were in the living room of their apartment late that night when an argument began. The couple’s dog continued to jump on him, which was angering him, and she was tired of having to do chores, according to Robbins.

According to Robbins, Mishler told Samuel Mishler, “If you don’t leave, I’m going to shoot you” and pushed him toward the door, but he wouldn’t leave. She then walked into a bedroom where the couple kept three guns, picked one up and cocked it, hoping the noise would be enough to make him leave, Robbins said.

Robbins said Mishler told him that her husband said, “If you want me to leave so much, pull the trigger.” Washtenaw County Chief Medical Examiner Bader Cassin testified that the muzzle of the gun was directly pushed against Samuel Mishler’s head and one shot was fired. The resulting force was like “a hammer striking the head,” Cassin said.

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



Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 10:20 p.m.

@Mr. Ed and those wondering about the nature of the charge, my understanding is that this is a plea agreement; it wasn't a trial result. If it plead out at 2nd degree murder, it seems likely that the original charge was 1st degree murder. It's too bad the news story doesn't make the details clear. In fact, most of the story is a repost of the report of the preliminary hearing. I wonder if a reporter was present at all in the courtroom Wednesday.


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 4:07 p.m.

Where is SAFEHOUSE on this issue? If it was a man who killed a woman, SAFEHOUSE would be in the paper spouting off about relationship violence. Not one word from them in this article. Shame on them for being sexist.


Fri, Dec 16, 2011 : 2:45 a.m.

Be it a man or woman that does the shooting, the lies she told, I hope she spends the 15-30 years. Sounds to me like the husband didn't really think she would pull the trigger. I can't say I have sympathy for her, she looks like a very troubled young lady.


Mon, Dec 19, 2011 : 4:12 p.m.

He told her, better yet demanded, she shoot him. Why isn't this suicide?


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 11:44 p.m.

I hope that she goes to jail for a long time. How you gonna kill your husband because you don't wanna do chores anymore.. Give me a break. Clearly shes got some mental ish going on......

Mr. Ed

Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 5:34 p.m.

If that were a guy he would have been found guilty of 1st degree murder. It sounds like premeditated murder "Mishler told Samuel Mishler, "If you don't leave, I'm going to shoot you" and pushed him toward the door, but he wouldn't leave. She then walked into a bedroom where the couple kept three guns, picked one up and cocked it, hoping the noise would be enough to make him leave, Robbins said."


Thu, Dec 15, 2011 : 8:39 p.m.

This looks like a plea bargain. Yes, the facts would support premediation, as that can form very quickly, and the original charge probably was first degree murder or open murder (I haven't really followed this case so I don't know what it was). Even second degree murder can still carry a life sentence. So the fact that a range is mentioned in the article means there is some sort of deal with the prosecution to recommend a 15-30 year range. I'd imagine the minimum set by the judge would be at the high end of that given the examiner's testimony on the placement of the gun directly against the victim's head and the attempt to cover it up by claiming the victim was as an intruder. The main mitigating circumstance is that it happened in the context of an argument although her comment about the reason for the argument being about chores really doesn't help her on that point.