Steinert sentenced

Published 9:42 am Saturday, August 3, 2013

COURTLAND—A Courtland man received his sentence report in Southampton County Circuit Court for the first-degree murder of his estranged wife.

Charles Bernard Steinert got a life sentence, plus 83 years, for murdering Tammy Jo Steinert at her home on June 12, 2010.

Detectives have said that on that date, Charles Steinert took a revolver to the house and first shot her uncle, Joseph Michael Wise, in the stomach. Then Charles Steinert shot out the sliding glass back door to get inside. He reportedly chased Tammy Jo Steinert and two girls, Jessica Austin and Rebecca Gray, into a bedroom, where he apparently shot and killed his wife; she was 37.

Charles Steinert barricaded himself and the girls, holding them hostage. Austin was Tammy Jo’s daughter from a previous marriage, and Gray was a visiting friend of hers. The girls were released unharmed that afternoon. Charles Steinert surrendered to police later that evening.

At the trial’s conclusion on March 27, the jury took about 45 minutes to return the unanimous guilty verdict on the third day of Charles Steinert’s trial. However, deliberation for what punishment he should receive for the murder and 10 other charges took approximately two hours.

In addition to the life sentence, he was given a total of 83 years for the following charges: malicious wounding of Wise; using a firearm maliciously; the abduction of Austin; using a firearm to do so; the abduction of Gray; using a firearm to do so; armed statutory burglary; using a firearm to commit a burglary; the use of a firearm to commit murder; and maliciously discharging a firearm at or within an occupied building or dwelling.