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Two Week Trial For Menominee Murder Suspect Is Underway

Issue Date: February 15, 2017

What is expected to be a two week jury trial for Menominee County murder suspect Gregory S. Ihander, 49, began on Monday, Feb. 13, and is expected to continue through Thursday, Feb. 23 in Menominee County Courthouse. He has been charged with one count of open murder in connection with the death of his former girlfriend, Jolene Eichborn, 43, in 2015. Open murder is a life felony in Michigan.

The trial is taking place nearly a year and a half after Ihander's arrest on Sept. 10, 2015, the day after Eichorn's body was found stuffed into the trunk of her car. The vehicle had been abandoned in the Cedar River Marina parking lot the previous day.

Coordinates on Eichborn's cell phone led police to Ihander's residence. He allowed them to search is home and there they found a large garbage bag of bloody rags in his bathtub.

Ihander was then arrested. He has been held in Menominee county jail in lieu of $1 million bond since then.

Autopsy showed Eichborn died from massive blood loss caused by a laceration to her neck resulting from a homicide.

A preliminary examination was held in Menominee District Court in October of 2015. After hearing from 11 witnesses and viewing photographs of evidence at the marina and in Ihander's home, Judge Jeffrey Barstow ordered Ihander bound over to the higher court for trial on the open homicide case.

Testimony at the preliminary examination indicated that Ihander and Eichborn had been dating, and Eichborn broke off the relationship prior to her death.

The trial was originally scheduled to take place in February of 2016 but was delayed three times due to motions hearings and two changes of defense attorneys.

At a motions hearings in January of 2016 the court ruled statements Ihander made to police after he was read his Miranda rights will not e allowed as evidence at his jury trial. A motions hearing in May of 2016 led to a ruling that testimony about Ihander's actions prior to Eichborn's death will be allowed during the trial.

The most recent motions hearing was held before Menominee Circuit Court Judge Mary Bargland at the request of Ihander's attorney, Karen Groenhaut. Reports are that Judge Bargland ruled specific statements Ihander made to police detectives prior to his arrest would be admitted during his trial, but specific statements he made to officers after hi arrest would not be admitted. Following that motions hearing a decision on admissibility of Ihander's telephone call records was still pending, awaiting an expert report on the communications.


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