Kalkaska County Couple Accused Of Murder

A Kalkaska woman and her husband are now charged with the murder of her father.

Brian and Jessica Degroot were arrested Monday night and charged with the murder of Michael Brandt Tuesday afternoon.

The sheriff’s office was called to Brandt’s Springfield Township home where he was found with multiple stab wounds.

The Kalkaska County prosecuting attorney says Brian and Jessica Degroot tortured Michael Brandt in his home with a knife, ax and crossbow, then left him to die. 

“There was a crime scene that led us to believe it was suspicious due to just various pieces,” says Kalkaska County Sheriff Pat Whiteford.

Kalkaska County deputies and Michigan State Police were called to Michael Brandt’s home Sunday after his friend found him stabbed to death.

“It’s believed that he had been deceased for a couple days. Autopsy will confirm those details more,” explains Sheriff Whiteford.

Their investigation led them to Brandt’s daughter and son-in-law, Brian and Jessica Degroot.

“The defendant slashed the victim multiple times with a knife, then forced the victim to get undressed, paraded him around the property at knife point, cut the victims neck, forced him to lie down on an area that was prepared by the defendant’s wife and further tortured. The defendant then attacked the helpless victim with an axe and literally took the time to pour salt on the victim’s wounds,” said prosecutor Mike Perreault in court. “As the defendants began taking action to cover up their crime, the defendant loaded his wife’s crossbow and fired a broad head into the still living, suffering victim.”

Brian and Jessica Degroot have both been charged with open murder. Brian is also charged with torture.

Jessica claimed in court Tuesday she was afraid of her husband, who forced her to do this.

"I broke down numerous times. I’m terrified of my husband. I’ve been trying to get out of that relationship," said Jessica.

Brian and Jessica Degroot are both being held on a $10 million cash bond.