A 32-year-old Florida man has been charged after he allegedly tried to electrocute his pregnant wife by rigging a car battery charger to the front doorknob of their home in Palm Coast.
Michael Scott Wilson is behind bars on $150,000 bail after what a police statement described was an alleged “attempt to electrocute” and possibly kill his estranged wife, 29-year-old Ashley Lauren.
Wilson allegedly attached an electrical device to the door’s deadbolt lock and to the front door handle, according to the statement.
The statement alleges Lauren could have been seriously injured had she inserted her house key into the deadbolt and then grabbed the door handle.
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According to the statement, investigators with the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office learned of the rigged doorknob last week, after Lauren — who is currently out of town — told her stepfather that Wilson had allegedly warned her against letting any children touch the front door.
The stepfather and his wife examined the home, and, suspecting something was amiss, notified police.
A sheriff’s deputy kicked the door in after allegedly noticing the door was barricaded and had burn marks near the handle. The statement says “a large spark was observed” as the door came down.
Inside the home, police found the alleged setup, which included two chairs, a child’s high chair, a shower rod, blue tape, electrical cords, wiring and a car battery charger with clamps.
“This is one of the most bizarre domestic violence cases I have seen in my career,” said Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly in the statement. “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.”
Court records confirm that Wilson’s wife filed for divorce on Dec. 6, 2017.
The day after police found the electrical rigging, Wilson allegedly changed his relationship status on Facebook to “widowed,” according to the statement.
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Wilson was arrested in Knoxville, Tennessee, on Dec. 28, 2017. He faces two counts of attempted aggravated battery on a pregnant person and one count of grand theft of a firearm, for allegedly stealing a gun from his wife’s father.
Wilson is awaiting extradition to Florida. He has not entered pleas to the charges against him and does not appear to have a lawyer yet who could comment on his behalf.
PEOPLE’s attempts to reach the alleged victim were unsuccessful Tuesday.
Police say the investigation continues and that additional charges could be forthcoming.