General Crime

*Hercules Man Charged With Murder For Allegedly Bludgeoning Wife With Dumbbell

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Prosecutors filed charges today against a man accused of bludgeoning his wife to death with a dumbbell in their Hercules home Thursday, according to Contra Costa County Deputy District Attorney Derek Butts.Norman McGinnis, 56, has been charged with one count of murder with an enhancement for the use of a deadly weapon for fatally bludgeoning 43-year-old Wyander Ricketts inside their home on Ivy Bay in the city’s Victoria by the Bay neighborhood.According to Butts, investigators believe the killing may have taken place during a domestic dispute.Hercules police Chief Fred Deltorchio said last week that the couple had been married for a little over a year and investigators believe there were earlier incidents of domestic violence, including one in January where police were called to the house.  At that time, Ricketts allegedly asked police to stand by while she went inside to get some belongings, but said she did not wish to press criminal charges or get a restraining order against McGinnis, Deltorchio said.According to Butts, the couple had moved from Solano County to the Hercules house five or six months ago.The alleged murder happened sometime early Thursday morning, but wasn’t discovered until about 10 a.m. when family members went to the home and discovered Ricketts dead in the stairwell and McGinnis drunk inside the home, Deltorchio said.McGinnis was in the entryway of the house receiving help from family members when police arrived.Ricketts appeared to have sustained a blunt force injury to her head and had been dead for at least several hours, Deltorchio said.Officers took McGinnis to the police station and waited for him to sober up so they could talk to him, but according to Deltorchio, he declined to give a statement.He was later booked into the Martinez Detention Facility on suspicion of murder. His bail has been set at more than $4 million, according to a county jail official.The killing was the city’s first homicide since 2004, according to Harrington.

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