June 14 trial set for Franklin murder suspect

Published 9:42 am Thursday, March 31, 2011

COURTLAND—A Franklin man accused in the shooting death of his estranged wife last June will face a jury on June 14 in Southampton County Circuit Court.

Charles Steinert is accused of killing his wife, Tammy Jo, in her home at 200 Southampton Road.

Virginia State Police said Steinert arrived at his wife’s house 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 Sentara Norfolk 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 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.

He faces charges of first-degree murder, the use of a firearm in the commission of the murder and malicious wounding, and malicious wounding.