Suspect In Slaying Of Woman Faces Charge of First-Degree Murder
Ivan Love, 34-year-old roomer accused of the Friday night slaying of his landlady, Mrs. Zella McConnell, 37, continued to deny the shooting in week-end questioning.
The former Detroit steelworker will be arraigned in Municipal Court at 11 o'clock tomorrow morning. A warrant charging Love with murder will be sworn out today, Edmond DeVine, chief assistant prosecutor, said this morning.
Devine said in his opinion the killing of the twice-divorced mother of four was premeditated, first-degree murder. "We will prosecute on that basis," he declared.
Refers To 'Struggle'
Love, who surrendered to Redford state police two hours after Mrs. McConnell's three daughters found her body on the floor of their home at 1675 Lexington Rd., repeatedly insisted that the gun was fired "during a struggle."
Mrs. McConnell, who was shot eight times in the stomach, once in the chest, and once in the arm with a .22 caliber automatic rifle. An eleventh bullet was found in a door casing.
Love was taken to the scene of the murder late Saturday afternoon and re-enacted his version of the "struggle," sheriff's officers said.
Yesterday, Love said he would "talk" if officers would let him see Mrs. McConnell's body, Undersheriff George L. Randel said.
Taken to the Staffan-Hildinger Funeral Home, Love fainted. He refused to say anything after he returned to consciousness, deputies said. They said he cried continuously throughout the visit.
Denies Being Aggressor
At the bungalow home, where Love had roomed since shortly before Christmas, Love claimed he wasn't the aggressor in the struggle, DeVine said.
Love told officers that he remembered that "about four shots" were fired, but denied pulling the trigger. DeVine said Love changed his earlier denial that he cut the telephone wires. Late Saturday he said "I don't think I cut the wires," according to the assistant prosecutor.
The accused killer said the window pane in the home's side door must have been broken during the scuffle, DeVine said.
The prosecutor said "Love seemed to have no remorse except that this thing had happened to him. He was filled with self-pity."
The victim's body was found on the dining-room floor of her home by her three daughters - Millie, 20, Velma, 17, and Jennie, 14 - and her first husband and the girls' father, Howard Hall, 46, of Jackson, when they returned from an Ann Arbor movie.
Jennie told officers Friday night that her mother and Love had had frequent arguments of late over Mrs. McConnell's refusal to marry him.
She said her mother had ordered him out of the house Friday when he became angry after she refused to go to Detroit with him. Velma Hall said she heard quarreling Friday afternoon. She said Love shouted, "If I can't have you, no one can."
That evening, Mrs. McConnell drove to the county jail, where she told deputies Love had threatened her and she was "afraid of being beat up" because she had ordered him to leave.
Officers accompanied her home and left when she assured them she would lock herself in and felt "safe."
They said they saw her drive away shortly afterward, however. She apparently went into Ann Arbor to eat and visit a friend. Hall and her daughters saw her driving north on S. State St. about 8 o'clock when they came out of a campus theater.
They found her body at 8:45 p.m.
Admits Owning Gun
DeVine said he believes Love lay in wait for his victim outside the Lexington Rd. Home, cut the telephone wires, broke in and overpowered and shot the woman. Love has admitted ownership of the alleged murder weapon, which was found in his stake truck when he surrendered.
Mrs. McConnell, an employe of the King-Seeley Corp., also leaves a son, Edwardd, 18, a soldier in Japan.
Washtenaw County Sheriff's Department
Staffan-Hildinger Funeral Home
Crime & Criminals
Ann Arbor - Municipal Courthouse
Ann Arbor News
Zella Gettys Hall McConnell
Millie Mae Hall
George L. Randel
Edmond F. DeVine
1675 Lexington Rd