LIBERTY TOWNSHIP | A South Haven man went to a motel room Sunday morning and saw his wife and brother-in-law together, so he beat his brother-in-law unconscious, bashing the man's head with a television, and injured his wife's arm, Porter County police said.
William H. Smith, 46, of 709 Juniper Road, was arrested Sunday and was charged Monday with one count of aggravated battery, two counts of felony battery, two counts of felony criminal recklessness, two misdemeanor counts of battery and one count of misdemeanor disorderly conduct.
He faces up to 44 1/2 years in prison if convicted of the charges. In addition, police said Smith could face upgraded charges if the man he allegedly beat, who is married to Smith's sister, dies from his injuries.
The brother-in-law, Myron Burton, 48, of Pontiac, Ill., was in the intensive care unit at Porter Valparaiso Hospital Campus, police said. Smith's wife, Cora Smith, 44, whose listed address is El Kay Motel, 53 W. U.S. 6, Liberty Township, was taken to the same hospital for treatment of a possibly broken arm.
Police responded to Cora Smith's motel room to investigate a disturbance at 1:30 a.m. Sunday and discovered Burton lying on the floor, with a pool of blood around his head and blood spatters around him. Police said Burton, who was naked except for a small blanket covering him, was breathing heavily but was not conscious.
Police said Cora Smith, who was wearing only a bathrobe, stated she and Burton were alone in her room when someone knocked on the door and said "Valparaiso Police Department." She told police she opened the door to find her husband, who entered and pulled Burton off the bed and onto the floor.
Cora Smith told police her husband struck Burton with his hands and feet, so she tried to call police with her cell phone. Cora Smith told police her husband struck her and threw her to the ground, then beat on Burton again and dropped a standard television set on his head as he was lying on the floor.
Police said William Smith left the motel after the attack, but he was located about a half-hour later at a home on Heritage Road in South Haven.
Police said their investigation showed William Smith and his wife separated recently and he has been trying to get her to move back in with him. Police said he found out his wife was at the motel and went to confront her, then "lost it" and attacked Burton. Police said the Smith's son and the son's girlfriend were present during the disturbance.