Eastpointe man who killed family pleads guilty but 'mentally ill'

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An Eastpointe man pleads guilty but mentally ill to killing his wife and two young children.

This is different from an insanity plea because the confessed killer Timothy Fradeneck will go to prison.

Fradeneck admitted to strangling his wife Christie Fradeneck, 37,  and children Celeste, 2, and Timothy, 8, using a USB cord while they were sleeping last April.

Fradeneck, 38, of Eastpointe, faced a judge Monday.

Judge: "How are you pleading to the charge of homicide, murder in the first degree regarding Christie?"

Fradeneck: "Guilty but mentally ill."

It was the same answer for the seven charges against him, including first degree murder, felony murder and child abuse.

Judge: "How do you feel today?"

"Very sad," Fradeneck said. "I'm very sorry."

Fradeneck pleaded guilty, but mentally ill.

"He was clinically depressed at the time he committed these crimes" said Dr. Michael Abramsky who took the stand. "He had a long history of depression. He had not been in treatment, he was not medicated at the time."

Undergoing two mental exams Fradeneck was ruled clinically depressed. Doctors found Fradeneck did suffer from a mental illness at the time of the murders but did not meet the definition for insanity.

"Although certainly influenced by his depression, the depression itself was not enough to actually create the crime," said Abramsky. "It was still a decision made - it is hard to say rational  - but was reasoned at that time and he knew what he was doing."

Fradeneck is now on medication with his sentencing scheduled for March 1.

Judge: "Do you understand that the sentence on each one of the murder charges is life without the possibility of parole?"

Fradeneck: "Yes, ma'am."