Son faces murder charges in death by beating of father in Menominee County

 Mugshot for Gary Phillips-Donovan (Menominee County Jail photo)
Mugshot for Gary Phillips-Donovan (Menominee County Jail photo) (WLUC)
Published: Nov. 21, 2019 at 2:21 PM EST
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A Bark River man is facing open murder charges after his father was found dead in a home in Harris Township Tuesday afternoon.

35-year-old Gary Phillips-Donovan was arraigned on an open murder charge in Menominee County District Court on Wednesday.

According to court documents, 74-year-old Michael Allen Donovan, the adopted father of Phillips-Donovan, was found in the detached garage of his home at W546 US-2/41 in Harris Township early Tuesday, Nov. 19.

He had extensive trauma to his head and face.

His wife reported that earlier that morning, their adopted son, Phillips-Donovan, had come to the home uninvited and let himself in.

He began rummaging through things in the house, and 20 minutes after Gary left, she found her husband Michael laying on the garage floor with his face bloodied.

The victim’s granddaughter was present when Gary arrived and reported that she observed Phillips-Donovan speaking with her Grandpa (Michael Donovan) and that she heard drawers being opened and closed in the bedroom next to her, and that she saw him throw something into the dumpster behind the elders housing complex.

Harris Township Fire received a call later that day, responding to a fire located inside a stove at N16255 Hannahville B-1 rd. in Wilson, located in close proximity to where the victim was found.

Personnel found charred remains of clothing inside the stove.

The Menoninee County prosecutor’s office stated that a witness reported that Phillips-Donovan likes to hang out at that location often, and placed him there that afternoon.

Bark River-Harris and Hannahville Indian Schools were both but on lockdown Tuesday afternoon while law enforcement searched for Phillips-Donovan.

After performing an autopsy, Menominee County Deputy Medical Examiner Joel Hensley reported that Michael Alan Donovan most likely died from blunt force trauma to the head and ruled it a homicide.

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TV6 & FOX UP will continue to follow this investigation and will release more details as they are made available.

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