Man linked to Lacey murder-suicide had history of domestic violence, restraining orders

Maryann McCarty

LACEY, Wash. -- Law enforcement say the man connected to a murder-suicide in Lacey had a history of domestic violence and that several women tried to get restraining orders against him.

It was a brutal ending for a man and woman killed in an apparent murder-suicide in Lacey Friday night. Police now say 50-year-old Michael Michelin of Lacey pulled the trigger on himself after killing 40-year-old Maryann McCarty in a parking lot in the South Sound.

“She was a great mother. She raised two great children,” said Clint Sullivan, McCarty’s next-door neighbor and landlord.

He said McCarthy, a certified nursing assistant at Evergreen Health and Rehab, dated Michelin for a few months and then things changed. Pierce County Court documents confirmed the details.

“She came over to show me the handful of nails that she had picked up out of her driveway and she seemed very frightened,” said Sullivan.

Sullivan said McCarty feared for her safety and that of her two kids. So, she put up motion detectors and cameras in her home. McCarty also told Sullivan and his wife about the protection order she was granted by Thurston County Court in September.

“My opinion is, it’s not worth the paper it’s written on. It’s just a piece of paper. What good did it do her? Nothing,” said Sullivan.

Court documents show that in Pierce County, several women applied for protection orders against Michelin over the years.

“These cases are tragic,” said Thurston County Prosecuting Attorney Jon Tunheim.

He said protection orders are important, but they are not fail-safe.

“It won’t prevent every tragedy,” said Tunheim.

But he still encourages anyone who needs protection to take action.

“The vast majority of protection orders do have the effect they are intended. They are able to be enforced. We can take criminal action if there is a violation of the order,” said Tunheim.

Lacey Police say that they’ve had several run-ins with Michelin. Investigators are serving several search warrants on his home and car and they’re still looking into why the fatal shooting happened.

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