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Woman charged with tying up 11-year-old son in car, setting car on fire sent for psych evaluation

Sherri Richter accused of trying to murder her son

Sherri Richter (WDIV)

MONROE COUNTY, Mich. – A Monroe County woman was ordered to undergo a forensic evaluation on charges of intent to murder after she allegedly tied up her 11-year-old son in a car and lit the car on fire.

Sherri Marie Richter, 48, of Frenchtown Township, is accused of binding her son's wrists, locking him in a car and lighting it on fire.

Police received a call at 11:28 a.m. Tuesday from Richter's husband, who said his wife might have harmed their son.

Officials learned the family's 2014 Ford Focus was on fire at the Roselawn Memorial Park at 13200 S. Dixie Highway in LaSalle Township.

When deputies arrived, the car was emitting smoke from the passenger compartment, but Richter and her son couldn't be found.

Police found Richter and her son in a different part of the cemetery, talking to members of the Roselawn staff.

Investigators said they learned Richter had bound her son at the wrists and locked him inside the Focus before lighting a fire in the trunk. She later tried to ignite the fire using gasoline inside the passenger compartment, where the boy was sitting, according to investigators.

Police said the fire didn't ignite, and the boy struggled to get free. The woman then freed the boy from the car and they walked away until they found an employee in the cemetery, police said.

The employee freed the boy from his bindings, and he is expected to be OK, officials said.

Richter was arrested and taken to ProMedica Monroe Regional Hospital for evaluation before being lodged at the Monroe County Jail on attempted murder and arson charges.

Richter is charged with assault with intent to murder and arson -- preparation to burn between $1,000 and $20,000. She was arraigned Thursday and is being held at the Monroe Councty Jail on $100,000 bail.

The 11-year-old boy was taken to ProMedica Monroe Regional Hospital for precautionary reasons and released.

Police are continuing to investigate the incident.

Anyone with information is asked to call police at 734-240-7719 or 734-240-7530.

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