Man accused of killing wife in front of kids has history of violence, records show

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A man accused of gunning down his wife in front of her children at her downtown apartment was arrested Tuesday.

Michael McKinnie, 38, was charged with first-degree murder and two counts of reckless endangerment. Authorities had been looking for McKinney for nearly two weeks until he was found in the Southwind area.

According to police, Latarica Stripling was inside a Chevrolet Camaro with her three- and eight-year-old children on Muddy River Lane when McKinnie approached the vehicle and pulled her out by force. There was a brief struggle before McKinnie pulled out a gun and shot the victim in the head.

First responders found Stripling next to her car outside the Crescent Bluff Apartments and pronounced her dead on the scene.

The juvenile witnesses identified the shooter to police.

Police say he shot stripling in the head in front of her 8- and 3-year-old daughters.

Court records show charges McKinnie was arrested in 2017 for allegedly strangling his wife and threatening to kill her, but charges were eventually dropped.

According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigators, McKinnie's criminal background dates back to the late '90s, when he was arrested for possession of a weapon.

According to police documents, in 2003, McKinnie pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and was sentenced to 10 years.

By 2009, he was in trouble with the law again. A woman says she was confronted by McKinnie when she walked into a store on Highland.

According to the affidavit, he began calling her names, assaulting her with a stick, hitting her in her arms and legs, throwing drink cans at her and pulling her hair.

He was found guilty of assault causing bodily harm and sentenced to 15 days.

And just two years later, a man told police he he got into a verbal altercation with McKinnie. He sais McKinnie left and returned, stabbing him with a screwdriver.

Court documents say McKinnie left and returned once again, this time with a gun. He fired several shots that struck another man who was forced to spend weeks in the hospital.

He was charged with attempted first-degree murder, but he eventually pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and was sentenced to another five years behind bars.

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