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Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Husband killed wife ‘instantly’ when he struck her with vehicle, police say

MASON COUNTY, MI – An argument turned deadly between a Grand Rapids couple when a man hit and killed his wife with a vehicle on the highway, Mason County sheriff’s deputies said.

Mark Lazon Casterman, 58, was charged with open murder at arraignment Sunday, Sept. 17, in Mason County District Court connected to a crash that killed his wife, 45-year-old Melissa Sue Casterman.

The crash happened around 11 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 15, on U.S. 31, south of Freeman Road, in Free Soil Township.

Police said Melissa Casterman was driving a 2013 Lincoln MKX southbound on U.S. 31 when an argument between her and her passenger – her husband, Mark – happened.

The woman pulled to the southbound shoulder of the road, exited the car, crossed the highway, and started walking southbound along the northbound shoulder, police said.

Mark Casterman then got behind the wheel and drove past his wife twice before doing a final U-turn in front of Freeman Creek Equipment, at 7511 N. U.S. 31.

The man accelerated southbound on U.S. 31, crossed the centerline, traveled down the northbound shoulder, and struck his wife. Police said she was killed instantly.

During the investigation, deputies collected evidence from the road, vehicle, and the victim.

On top of open murder, Mark Casterman is also charged with operating while intoxicated causing death, operating while license suspended causing death, and a third offense of operating while intoxicated.

Bond was set at $1 million cash/surety.

Mark Casterman is scheduled to appear in court next on Sept. 27 for a probable cause conference.

“Although I am heartbroken that such an event could play out in our community and done so publicly for innocent citizens to witness, I am grateful to our investigators,” Mason County Sheriff Kim C. Cole said in a news release. “They worked tirelessly throughout the weekend putting this case together and did so with the commitment to finding the truth and seeking justice for the victim.”

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