KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – A Florida man accused of trying to electrocute his pregnant wife was arrested in Knoxville on Thursday afternoon.
Michael Wilson, 32, of Palm Coast, Fla., rigged the front door of his home with electrical wires in an attempt to shock his estranged wife, according to the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies were called to the home on Tuesday when Wilson’s father-in-law contacted authorities after he became suspicious when Wilson wouldn’t let a child touch the front door. When deputies arrived, they noticed burn marks on near the door handle. According to the sheriff’s office, when a deputy kicked the door and saw a large spark. Deputies found Wilson rigged electrical devices to the top door lock and lower door handle to electrocute whoever touched the door.
Deputies say Wilson also stole a firearm that belonged to his father-in-law.
“This is one of the most bizarre domestic violence cases I have seen in my career,” said Sheriff Rick Staly. “Not only did this man plan to electrocute his wife, but he could have injured a deputy or any person attempting to enter this residence. Thankfully, this man was found and taken into custody before he could cause the harm he intended.”
Police say Wilson had a medical episode a few months ago and he was involuntarily examined for mental health issues in November under the Baker Act. His wife filed for divorce in December, but invited him to Tennessee for Christmas.
According to the arrest affidavit, Wilson and his wife were visiting family in Knoxville on Friday, Dec. 22, when Wilson disappeared. He called her the next morning and accused her of cheating on him. The couple didn’t speak until Sunday, when he told her he had been visiting family in Ohio. She told him to come back to Knoxville.
In the affidavit, When Wilson arrived, his wife said he began making concerning comments that led her to believe he had been in Florida at their house. Wilson asked about her having a hidden firearm, then told her where the firearm was hidden. He also asked if she installed cameras in the home to know when he was at the house.
Wilson’s wife told police he told her, “when you go up, make sure you use the front door because the garage door is not going to open” and “make sure [redacted] isn’t with you because I don’t want her getting hurt.”
At that point, she called her stepfather and asked him to check out the house
When deputies arrived at the home, Wilson’s father-in-law told police they found strange writing on the sliding glass door: the word “hi” written in lipstick with two eyes painted above the word.
According to Wilson’s arrest affidavit, police say someone attached a multi-amp automotive battery charger to the door lock. The device was rigged so when a house key was inserted into the deadbolt and the door handle touch with the other hand, an electrical circuit would be closed, allowing electricity to flow from one hand, up the arm, through the heart and back through the other arm.
Upon further search of the residence, deputies found the pair of smart cameras, set up by Wilson’s wife, thrown in a toilet. They also discovered a collection of “love letter”-style sticky notes and letters lying on the bed, along with a photo album.
On Wednesday, a deputy discovered a Facebook account with Wilson’s name and photograph on it. The page says Wilson changed his relationship status to “widowed.”
Knoxville police found Wilson in a car in the 2700 block of Middlebrook Pike on Thursday afternoon and arrested him. When they searched him, deputies found a 1.8 gram bag of methamphetamine in his shoe.
Wilson faces charges of aggravated battery of a pregnant woman, grand theft of a firearm and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. He is being held on $150,000 bond and awaiting extradition back to Florida. He had no previous record.
Wilson has an address listed in Louisville, Tenn., according to court records.