MURDER CHARGES: St. Paul man with unstable past 'just snapped' - KMSP-TV

MURDER CHARGES: St. Paul man 'just snapped' and shot girlfriend

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) -

Murder charges filed Friday against a St. Paul man tell a story of two different struggles – a family's struggle to get mental health treatment for their daughter's unstable boyfriend, and the child custody struggle that led to her deadly shooting on the car ride home from dinner.

Timothy Hendricks, 19, is charged with one count of second-degree murder in Wednesday night's shooting of his girlfriend, Michelle Ploetz, near the intersection of White Bear Avenue and E. 7th Street. The couple's 8-month-old baby was in backseat at time of shooting.

Ploetz, 20, died Friday morning at Regions Hospital after she was removed from life support.

CUSTODY CONVERSATION

According to the criminal complaint, Hendricks went out to dinner Wednesday night with Ploetz, the couple's 8-month-old son and her father at the Little Oven restaurant. During dinner, there was a discussion about the boy's custody and the steps Hendricks needed to take for the family to trust him with the child.

'VOICES IN MY HEAD'

After dinner, Hendricks received a ride home, during which he "just snapped."

"I was hearing voices in my head and I just snapped and I couldn't really tell you what happened," he told police. "That's when I shot her."

When Michelle Ploetz told Hendricks he would never see their son, he pointed the gun "right at her head" and pulled the trigger once.

Michelle's father, who was driving, told police he heard a "pop" from the backseat, then saw something fly over his shoulder and break the windshield. Thinking Hendricks was trying to kill him, Mr. Ploetz got out of the car, went around to the back and tried to get the gun away from Hendricks, who shot at him twice more.

Hendricks is also charged with one count of attempted second-degree murder for shooting at the father.

TROUBLE GETTING TREATMENT

Michelle's father told police he tried to get Hendricks committed to mental health treatment on 3 separate occasions, but never with any success.

During dinner, Hendricks asked, "Why can't this be like it always was?" Ploetz and her father explained that he needed to get a mental health evaluation and get into a treatment program. He had recently undergone a Rule 20 evaluation after pointing a gun at a relative, and was also ordered to get a chemical dependency evaluation.

IT'S NOT OVER UNTIL HE'S DEAD

Michelle's father said he was afraid Hendricks would kill the whole family if he wasn't arrested, or if he ever gets out of jail. He said "it's not over and it's not going to be over," until Hendricks is dead.

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