Autopsy: Franklin woman died of wound to head

Published 2:42 pm Monday, June 14, 2010

FRANKLIN—The chief medical examiner in Norfolk determined in a Monday autopsy that a Franklin woman died Saturday from a gunshot wound to the head.

The medical examiner ruled Tammy Jo Steinert’s death a homicide, said Office Administrator Donna Price, who would not comment further.

Charles Bernard Steinert, 36, of Franklin, was arraigned Monday in Franklin City General Court on charges related to her death and and to the shooting of Mrs. Steinert’s uncle Joseph Wise, 46, of Franklin.

Charles Steinert is charged with first-degree murder, use of a firearm in commission of a felony, two counts of assault with a firearm, and one count of malicious wounding.

No bond was set, according to a court spokeswoman. Steinert’s preliminary hearing is set for 10 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 18, in Franklin.

Steinert, who works for T&A Repair in Courtland, surrendered to authorities without incident at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, some six hours after police first responded to the 200 Southampton Road home where Tammy Jo Steinert lived.

Charles Steinert, who is 5 feet, 5 inches tall, arrived at the home at about 12:30 p.m. with a revolver, State Police said. Wise confronted Steinert outside and was shot in the abdomen. Wise was able to flee to a neighbor’s house and was later airlifted to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, where he was in stable condition Monday.

According to an arrest warrant, Steinert shot out the home’s glass back door to gain entry and chased Mrs. Steinert and two girls into a bedroom, where he shot and killed his wife. The two girls were released unharmed at about 4:30 p.m.

Mrs. Steinert, a mother of two, graduated from Franklin High School in 1990 and attended Radford University from 1990 to 1994, according to the website