Wife of Tyrone Hassel III wants new trial in murder case
ST. JOSEPH, Mich. -- Kemia Hassel is serving life in prison without parole for the murder of her husband, Army Staff Sergeant Tyrone Hassel III, in a 2018 love triangle shooting.
Now, she wants a new trial and claims she was a victim of battered partner syndrome.
Kemia and her former attorney, Christopher Kessel, both testified in court Monday.
She claimed Kessel did not provide effective assistance and that she was abused by Tyrone III.
“The basic two claims for the reasons Mr. Kessel was allegedly ineffective were not moving to suppress her statement to the police and not pursuing a battered partner syndrome defense based on her allegations that she suffered abuse during the marriage,” said Aaron Mead, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney.
Kemia claimed she was a victim of abuse by Tyrone III, something his father, Tyrone Hassel Jr. vehemently denies.
“I’m more upset about the fact that she’s trying to ruin my son’s name by saying he was abusive and we all heard her say he wasn’t physically abusive, that’s our local hero and now you’re trying to tarnish his name,” said Tyrone Jr.
The video he referenced is from a January 2019 interview Kemia had with police.
This comes nine months after a judge denied Kemia’s co-conspirator Jeremy Cuellar’s request to withdraw his guilty plea.
Tyrone Jr. hopes Kemia’s request will have the same result.
“The judge did an awesome job, her kind words to our family and the words that she sent them both away with were soothing, I’ve thanked the prosecutor and I think they’ll continue to do an awesome job,” he said.
The judge will transcribe testimony from Monday’s hearing and attorneys on both sides will be able to submit briefs.
A decision is not expected until at least September.
To see the ABC57 special report Love.Honor.Betrayal - The Murder of Tyrone Hassel III, click here.