‘I’m going to kill you’: New details revealed in Jackson councilman assault case


JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) — Three weeks after he was charged with assaulting his girlfriend, we’re learning more about the shocking accusations against Jackson City Councilman Andrew Frounfelker.


Frounfelker appeared in Jackson County District Court for a preliminary hearing Thursday morning.

The most emotional testimony came from Frounfelker’s girlfriend.


“He grabbed me by the hair and was yelling,” she said on the witness stand.  


The woman took the stand with visible facial wounds and held back tears through her testimony.


Because she’s an assault victim, we’re not identifying her and only using what she said in court.


The girlfriend says the night of May 22 she was with Frounfelker at a restaurant in downtown Jackson celebrating her birthday.


She says Frounfelker got upset over what she thought was a joke she shared with Mayor Derek Dobies and City Manager Patrick Burtch, who were there at the celebration.


“When we were walking home he said, ‘You don’t know what you did. You disrespected me and my co-workers when we tried to do something nice for you. That’s how you respond?” she said.


She says her boyfriend turned violent when they returned to their apartment in downtown Jackson.


“He pushed me at first and started hollering at me again. Telling me it was over. He started hitting me. He hit me in the eye, kept hitting and I asked him to stop,” she said.


The called a friend for help, and that’s when the violence escalated.


“He grabs me by the neck, he’s yelling at me, telling me I’m done. I fall and he’s over me, choking me,” she said.


That friend, Kristin Willcut, testified that she heard the assault happen over the phone. 


“I heard him say, ‘I’m going to kill you’,” Willcut said.


Willcut rushed to the apartment and took her friend to the hospital with severe injuries.


“She had a bloody, battered face,” Willcut said.


The girlfriend says the injuries have required her to get facial surgery.


She also claimed in court that the majority of their year-long relationship has been filled with abuse.


The hearing concluded with the judge deciding there is enough evidence to move the case toward a trial, sending it to circuit court.


Frounfelker did not want to comment as he left the courtroom.

No trial date has been set.

Frounfelker has served the city’s fifth ward on the Jackson City Council for 15 years.

Right now there’s no indication that he will resign.

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