Timothy Ferguson Obituary-Murder: Shanda Vander Ark arrested

Timothy Ferguson Obituary-Murder

Timothy Ferguson Obituary-Murder: Shanda Vander Ark faces first-degree murder and child abuse charges in the death of 15-year-old, Timothy Ferguson.

Testimony begins in the trial of Norton Shores mom accused of killing her teen with special needs.

Testimony began Wednesday in the trial of a Norton Shores mother accused of neglecting her 15-year-old son with special needs so severely that he died in the basement of their home.

Shanda Vander Ark faces first-degree murder and child abuse charges after her son Timothy Ferguson was found dead on July 6, 2022.

Timothy’s older brother, Paul Ferguson, was also charged in his brother’s death. Currently, he is sitting in the Muskegon County jail on charges of child abuse of a family member.

Prosecutors said in court Wednesday that Ferguson will testify in his mother’s trial.

Together, the pair is accused of orchestrating a campaign of terror on Timothy, who moved in with them and a younger son in May 2021.

Timothy was previously living with his biological father in Oklahoma.

Public defender Fred Johnson, who is defending Vander Ark, said that his client received a call from the boy’s dad in early 2021 telling her that she needed to take him or he was going to give him up to state child services.

“She takes him to her home and then the wheels start to fall off in her life. Her husband gets seriously ill, and she is now struggling with the expenses of the home and the three children,” Johnson told the jury.

He explained that Vander Ark’s current husband had a stroke in January of 2022, forcing him to move out of the family home and in with his parents, as he is not able to go up and down stairs.

Johnson’s opening statement hammered on the fact that a guilty conviction on the charges she is facing would require Vander Ark and her son to have had the intent to kill Timothy.

Read also: Peter Strube Obituary: CRNA and Assistant Professor died

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