Officer charged with killing wife after abuse allegation

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EATONTON, Ga. (AP) — A Georgia police officer who said his wife killed herself during an argument has been charged with her murder, authorities said.

Eatonton Police Officer Michael Perrault was charged with murder in the death of his wife Amanda Perrault, 44, Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills told news outlets Wednesday.

Her death came about a week after she had accused her husband of domestic violence.

Amanda Perrault was found fatally shot in the head at her home on Monday. Sills said Michael Perrault called his boss, Eatonton Police Chief Kent Lawrence, and told him his wife pulled out a gun and shot herself during an argument.

Prior to Amanda Perrault's death, Michael Perrault was arrested Jan. 28 and charged with simple battery, family violence and cruelty to children in the third degree. Michael Perrault told authorities he didn't hit his wife, but the couple's 8-year-old daughter said she saw her father shove her mom out of the entryway of the home. Sills said Amanda Perrault had red marks on her neck and chest. Michael Perrault was then put on leave from Eatonton police.

During Michael Perrault's bond hearing after the domestic violence arrest, Amanda Perrault allowed him to return to the home because he had nowhere to go, Sills said.

"I could sense some reluctance, but that's what she said," Sills said.

Michael Perrault has been a Eatonton police officer since 2018. It's unclear whether he had an attorney who could comment on his behalf.

Eatonton is about 75 miles (121 kilometers) southeast of Atlanta.

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