UPDATE: Police: Man kills girlfriend, torches home

By Elisabeth Waldon • Last Updated 10:11 am on Thursday, October 24, 2013

SPENCER TOWNSHIP — A local man is being charged with killing his girlfriend and then setting their home on fire in a horrific series of events Wednesday morning.

Kent County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a residence on Lincoln Lake Road at 6:30 a.m. Wednesday. Upon arrival, deputies discovered the dead body of Danielle Scholton-Linderman. She was 29 years old.

Scholton-Linderman and her live-in boyfriend, Scott Hammer, 51, were staying with family at the Lincoln Lake Road address while their residence was being renovated. Sometime Wednesday morning, a struggle ensued between Scholton-Linderman and Hammer, which resulted in Scholton-Linderman’s death.

Hammer fled the Lincoln Lake Road residence and went to 3360 W. Wise Road in Sidney Township near Sheridan, where he and Scholton-Linderman had been renovating an old farmhouse. Hammer allegedly intentionally set the farm house on fire. It is believed he also attempted to set another structure on fire on that property, but he was unsuccessful.

The Sheridan Community Fire Department responded to the fire call at 8:09 a.m. and found the house engulfed in flames. While firefighters battled the blaze, the Montcalm County Sheriff’s Office was alerted that the fire was related to the homicide being investigated by the Kent County Sheriff’s Office.

Hammer was located by Montcalm County Sheriff’s deputies in his vehicle in Sheridan that morning and was arrested without incident. He was turned over to custody of the Kent County Sheriff’s Office.

Hammer is currently being held in the Kent County Correctional Facility in Grand Rapids. He will be charged with the death of Scholton-Linderman.

The Sheridan arson is being investigated by the Montcalm County Sheriff’s Office and the Michigan State Police fire marshal’s division.

Christiansen Cremation & Funeral Care in Greenville is handling funeral arrangements for Scholten-Linderman.

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