A Sand Lake woman has been charged with second-degree murder in the stabbing death of her boyfriend.
Tricia Hill, 26, was arraigned last week Thursday, May 8, in Newaygo County District Court in the May 5 death of Charles Franklin Rainey III, 28. She was held on $250,000 bond.
Rainey and Hill lived in a home that Rainey had recently bought on 124th Street in Ensley Township. Hill’s six-year-old daughter and Rainey’s best friend were also living there. Hill called 911 about 9:30 p.m. May 5 reporting Rainey had been stabbed. When police and paramedics arrived at the home, Rainey was in the entryway. Resuscitation efforts were not successful, and he was pronounced dead at the scene. An autopsy showed he had one stab wound to the heart.
Hill claimed they had been fighting all day and that it was self-defense. She reportedly told the court that the two were in the kitchen and that she grabbed a knife out of a cutting block as Rainey walked away from her toward the door. He then turned around to face her, and she stabbed him.
Police believe she acted out of anger and not in self-defense.
Both the little girl and the roommate, Charley Anderson, were both home at the time, but Anderson had been drinking and doesn’t remember anything.
Charley Rainey was the son of Charles Rainey Jr. and the late Mary Bradshaw Rainey. He graduated from Tri County High School in 2005, according to his sister, Jennifer Rainey, 20. “He was outgoing, fun-loving, and good at making a bad situation good. He had lots of friends, everyone loved him,” she recalled. “He was a fixer-upper—he loved buying things and fixing them up, like houses and cars, and things like that.”
Jennifer said her brother met Hill and began dating her about two years ago. They soon moved in together. “He loved that little girl, and treated her like she was his own,” she explained. “She was the reason he went back to her (Hill) after they broke up.”
But there was trouble in paradise. Jennifer said that Hill was abusive to Rainey throughout their relationship, and it continued when the couple moved to Tennessee last spring to be near Hill’s mother. “They bought a house down there. Then, she was arrested for domestic abuse against him. He left in November and came back up here.” In the early part of this year, Charley went back down to Tennessee and got the two girls he loved.
Jennifer doesn’t believe that Charley had any part in fighting with his girlfriend. “He would never harm anyone. He was not a fighter. I hope she gets what she deserves.”
Rainey had worked for the local Hungry Howies before he left, and when he came back, he got a job working at the one in Sparta.
Jennie Hayes, manager at the Cedar Springs Hungry Howies, said she had known Rainey, a former employee of hers, most all of his life. “His mother was my best friend,” she explained.
She agreed with Jennifer that he wouldn’t hurt Hill. “He was raised not to harm anyone,” she said. Tears filled her eyes.
“He didn’t deserve this. All he tried to do was give that little girl a good life. It’s not fair.”
Visitation was held Tuesday at Bliss Witters and Pike Funeral home. No service has been planned.