Man charged in Harris Township homicide

Nov 21, 2019

MENOMINEE, MI--    The adopted son of a man found dead in his Harris Township home has been charged in the man’s murder.

Gary Phillips-Donovan

Gary Phillips-Donovan, 35, of Bark River was arraigned Wednesday in Menominee County District Court on a charge of open murder.

Michigan State Police from the Gladstone Post were called to 74-year-old Michael Donovan’s Harris residence Tuesday afternoon. He was found dead in his detached garage with severe trauma to his face and head. An autopsy indicates Donovan died of blunt force trauma.

The victim’s wife and daughter say Phillips-Donovan entered the house without permission and had an argument with his adoptive father just before Donovan was found dead. Phillips-Donovan was seen throwing something into a dumpster behind the Elders Housing Complex in the Hannahville Indian Community, where his father lived.

A couple of hours later Harris Township Volunteer firefighters responded to a fire at a Wilson residence on Hannahville B-1 Road that Phillips-Donovan was known to frequent. Charred remains of clothing were found in a stove in the garage.

An acquaintance of Phillips-Donovan contacted police and placed the suspect at the residence Tuesday afternoon.

Phillips-Donovan remains lodged in the Menominee County Jail on a $750,000 bond. A preliminary hearing is set for December 11.