UPDATE: Missaukee County Man Charged for Deadly Shooting - Northern Michigan's News Leader

UPDATE: Missaukee County Man Charged for Deadly Shooting

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A Missaukee County judge has announced the verdict in a murder investigation that we first brought you in November.

Donald Staats has been found guilty of involuntary manslaughter, and one count of felony firearm.

Staats is accused of shooting and killing Charles Cuykendall.


A Missaukee County man is in the middle of a murder investigation... police say he shot and killed another man last night.

Donald Staats is accused of murdering Charles -- known as "Chuck" -- Cuykendall.

It's a story 9&10 News first broke last night at 11.

Police responded to the shooting just before ten o' clock.

The murder investigation is centered around Staats' home, along LaChance road off of M-55 in Missaukee County.

What started as a small gathering at the home suddenly turned deadly -- and police say it was at the hands of the homeowner, Staats.

"He had... returned from his business, which is approximately two miles away... and was upset, either that he'd been sent on a wild goose chase, or that his businesses had been broke into or vandalized," said Missaukee County Prosecutor William Donnelly Jr. during Staats' arraignment this afternoon.

Police say Staats had been drinking -- and after verbally lashing out at a couple of women, the prosecutor says he grabbed a 44-caliber pistol from a bedroom, went into the kitchen -- and shot Charles Cuykendall from point blank range in the head.

"One of the witnesses... saw him go into the bedroom, retrieve a pistol -- and was heard to say 'This is what happens to M-F's who run their mouths,'" said the prosecutor.

Charles, known by his friends and family as "Chuck" died instantly.

We're told the suspect then went outside and eventually called police on himself.

This afternoon, he was marched into the courtroom in jail-house orange and handcuffs to face an open murder charge.

"We don't exactly have the motive clarified yet, but it appears there may have been a disagreement between the two in the past. And that led up to the shooting... Things escalate, they get out of control, emotions, alcohol -- all those things play a part in a person's decision, or lack thereof, making a rational decision," said Missaukee County Sheriff Jim Bosscher.

We spoke to the victim's son -- he didn't want to talk on camera.

But he says he's angry and shocked.

And he doesn't know why someone would do this to his father.

In court, Staats' attorney entered a "not guilty" plea.

He remains in jail on a two million dollar bond.

If he's convicted, he could face up to life in prison.

9&10's Evan Dean and Photojournalist Jeff Blevins spent the day in Missaukee County and have more on the murder investigation.