Sep. 14-LIMA - Exactly one week before jury selection is set to begin in her double-murder case, Michelle Alves appeared briefly in Allen County Common Pleas Court on Tuesday and rejected a plea deal offered by prosecutors.
Alves, 32, was indicted in August of last year by a grand jury in connection with the shooting deaths on June 3, 2020, of Charles and Tarissa Sanders on South Atlantic Street in Lima. She faces two counts of murder, each unclassified felonies and each of which includes a three-year specification for the use of a firearm.
Allen County Prosecuting Attorney Juergen Waldick put the state's offer on the official record, telling Judge Jeffrey Reed the prosecutor's office was willing to dismiss one of the murder counts in exchange for a guilty plea to the remaining count and firearm specification.
Steve Chamberlain of the Allen County Public Defenders Office said he had met with his client last Friday to convey the offer and met with Alves again Tuesday to discuss how to proceed with the case.
"The state's offer has not been accepted," Chamberlain said during Tuesday's hearing. "She (Alves) is rejecting the offer and wishes to move to trial next week."
During Alves' preliminary hearing in Lima Municipal Court more than a year ago, Lima Police Department Detective Steve Stechschulte testified that a dispute arose between Alves and the Sanders couple over a gun allegedly stolen by Charles Sanders.
Police say Alves shot Charles Sanders once in the head and then turned the gun on Tarissa Sanders, shooting her three times. Tarissa Sanders was found dead upon the arrival of police and Charles Sanders died at a local hospital later that morning. Initial autopsy reports showed both victims died of gunshot wounds.
Police say Alves confessed to the murders on social media.
"She posted several things on Facebook indicating that she was the one responsible. ... She explained due to frustration that she wasn't remorseful for what happened," Stechschulte testified at the municipal court hearing in July of last year. "In our conversation when she confessed to shooting and killing both Mr. Sanders and Ms. Sanders, she said that was out of frustration out of some of the other stuff that she wrote on Facebook."
Alves was arrested June 15, 2020, in Las Vegas. She faces a prison term of 15 years to life if convicted of the charges against her.