Franklin murder suspect’s hearing today

Published 12:30 pm Wednesday, November 17, 2010

FRANKLIN—A Franklin man accused of murdering his estranged wife on June 12 will appear in court for a preliminary hearing today, Nov.17.

Charles Bernard Steinert, 37, is expected to appear in Franklin Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court for a hearing to determine whether there is sufficient evidence for the case to move forward.

The hearing was originally set for Aug. 18, but was continued so Steinert could undergo a psychiatric evaluation.

Steinert is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Tammy Jo Steinert, 37.

Virginia State Police said Steinert arrived at his wife’s house at 200 Southampton Road with a revolver. Tammy Jo Steinert’s uncle, Joseph Michael Wise, 46, of Courtland, confronted Charles Steinert outside and was shot in the abdomen. Wise was flown to Norfolk Sentara General Hospital for treatment.

Detectives believe Steinert shot and broke the window glass from a back door to his wife’s house, entered the home and chased two teenage girls and his wife into a bedroom. He then allegedly forced his way into the bedroom, shot his wife in the head and then barricaded himself in the house, holding the girls hostage.

After a standoff with police, Steinert released the girls unharmed four hours later. He then surrendered later.

Steinert is being held without bond and is being represented by a public defender.