[UPDATED with Charges, New Details:] Christian Marie Murray, OC Homicide No. 24: Thomas Michael Wilhelm Held in Girlfriend's Slaying

Categories: 2012 Homicides
See Update No. 4 at the end of this post detailing the charges against Thomas Michael Wilhelm, which include the allegation he stole the murder weapon from a neighbor.

See Update No. 3 identifying the victim as Christian Marie Murray and providing her business profile.

See Update No 2 providing
more details on the business dispute between Wilhelm and Murray.

See Update No. 1 identifying Wilhelm as the suspected murderer of his live-in girlfriend Murray.


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ORIGINAL POST, JULY 9, 8:28 A.M.: Costa Mesa Police received a call around 6:24 p.m. about a man with a gun inside a home in the 2900 block of Redwood Avenue.

Shortly after officers rolled up, a gunshot was heard.

By the time they left, a man was being held for murder.

Based on a media statement from the Costa Mesa Police Department, little more information than that has been released, pending more details expected some time today from homicide detectives.

We do know witnesses led police to the home. After the shot rang out, officers found a woman clinging to life inside the home. She'd been shot in the chest. The unidentified woman was taken to Western Medical Center in Santa Ana, where she was later pronounced dead.

The man who is believed to have shot the woman was in "a domestic relationship" with her. The media statement promises more details on that pending notification to the victim's family.


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UPDATE NO. 1, JULY 9, 12:44 P.M.: According to a Costa Mesa Police Department (CMPD) update from Lt. Tim Schennum, 48-year-old Thomas Michael Wilhelm and his girlfriend of three years had been arguing the past two years about a small business they shared together.

Thomas-Michael-Wilhelm_cmpd.jpg
Courtesy of CMPD
Thomas Michael Wilhelm
They also shared the home in the 2900 block of Redwood Avenue, where their bitter differences came to a head last evening with Wilhelm allegedly shooting the yet-to-be identified 45-year-old woman in the chest, killing her.

Officers, who had been called to the residence about a man threatening his girlfriend with a gun, heard a gunshot around 6:30 p.m. before forcing their way inside and finding the woman mortally wounded in the bedroom. Costa Mesa Fire paramedics treated her before she was rushed to Western Medical Center, where she was pronounced deceased.

Wilhelm was apprehended in the backyard, and a small caliber handgun that is believed to have been fired several times at the woman was recovered. He was booked on suspicion of murder at the Costa Mesa Jail before being taken to Orange County Jail in lieu of $1 million bail.

More information about the shooting is being collected by the Costa Mesa Police Detective Investigations Unit at 714.754.5205. Perhaps the commenter who below called the shooter "an amaxing man" has something to share?

tom-wilhelm-sprinkler-co.jpeg
Tom Wilhelm Sprinkler Co., Inc.
Was Tom Wilhelm forced out of the company that bears his name? And was that a motive for murder?
UPDATE NO. 2, JULY 9, 1:13 P.M.: To get a better fix on the business dispute Costa Mesa Police investigators say is at the center of the fatal shooting blamed on Thomas Michael Wilhelm, one need go no farther than the "About Us" page on the Tom Wilhelm Sprinkler Co. website.

There, you will find the following disclaimer:

Due to changes within the corporate structure Tom Wilhelm is not longer associated with this company. If he shows up at your door to do work under this company name please notify us immediately as he is an unlicensed contractor and no longer affiliated with this company in any way.

On the "Contact Us" page, you'll find this comment, left hours are the shooting:

Tom's company has been taken over by a drug addict and an ex-employee. Tom Wilhelm is a wonderful, experienced man, and in an attempt to ruin his life and business this woman is trying to cut him out of his own company. Please do not believe the lies.

This was left before Wilhelm's girlfriend was shot to death:

Tom Wilhelm is the name behind this company. He IS THE ONE WITH THE 30 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE. The person claiming this website is a fraud. And a drug addict using the name of Tom and a worker that Tom fired. Call Tom directly for the quality service you expect at 714-[number withheld].

UPDATE NO. 3, JULY 10, 12:15 P.M.: The 45-year-old woman shot several times in the chest has been identifed as Christian Marie Murray.

State records indicate Murray was listed as the chief financial officer of Tom Wilhelm Sprinkler Co. Inc. when the business was incorporated on June 30.

Thomas Michael Wilhelm is reportedly not mentioned anywhere on the application.

After the jump, Murray's Linked In profile . . .

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23 comments
sam_machal92
sam_machal92

my name is samantha machal and for all of you that dont know, the woman in the article was my aunt chris and i was there the day that tom wilhelm shot her in broad daylight. me and my boyfriend were the ones that found her and called 911. that man that so many of you are calling a saint, walked back in to the room with the gun still in his hand and forced us to leave while i was still on the phone with the 911 operator. he told us that if we had gotten there sooner, he would have shot us too.

 

so all of you saying that tom wilhelm was a good man and that my aunt deserved to be shot. you need to shut the fuck up. for one, you didnt know my aunt whatsoever. you know what news articles tell you. secondly, tom was and is a moronc psychopath who took a mother from her kids. so for those of you that think he is a good man, why dont you join him in a jail cell because the rest of us humans with actual morals and intelligence would rather not have to deal with your fucked up sense of what is right and wrong.

 

thanks and have a nice day!

kimw922
kimw922

No grand jury indictment?

 

kimw922
kimw922 like.author.displayName 1 Like

LOL How does a woman who has no experience in Sprinkler systems and landscaping get a contractor license??? 4 years experience needed ???? She was in relationship with Tom for 3 years, the last 6 months it was OVER. She was embezzling the money and trying to cut Tom out of OWN business that he started in 1987. THE FACTS WILL COME OUT FOR SURE! http://tomwilhelmdefense.webs.com/

JustNay
JustNay

 @kimw922 sounds like she deserved to be shot 7 times in front of her young son.  Realistically I know she was pretty crazy but that doesn't mean we can all shoot the crazies.

 

i can't think on my own
i can't think on my own

Yes we never take responsibility for our actions or decisions as our our Messiah Barack Hussein Obama. It's better to blame Republicans

blame it on bush
blame it on bush

I'm sure George bush Karl rove dick Cheney halliburton and mitt Romney are to blame ...

Mark
Mark

And still more bad news about another Lancer.  Can't say I knew this guy, though

Streets
Streets like.author.displayName 1 Like

Sounds like a Trailer Park love story.............

Mary Jane Doe
Mary Jane Doe

Yeah. Right. He's a great guy who shot his girlfriend to death. He's a real saint.  

miami beach flower delivery
miami beach flower delivery

The man who is believed to have shot the woman was in "a domestic relationship" with her. The media statement promises more details on that pending notification to the victim's family.

Harry
Harry like.author.displayName 1 Like

He probably felt like he was taking out the trash.

Harry
Harry

white boys put their businesses in their wife's or girlfriend's names in order to get government contracts, as a woman owned enterprise, you might call it affirmative action for white boys, everyone nods and winks, occasionally things goe amiss...

Harry
Harry

SOunds like he made the woman the CFO of his company and she tried to force him out; also sounds like maybe she hooked up with a former employee. Sounds like he should have withdrawn his contractor's license and then applied for a new one. He shouldn't have greased the woman.  That is a no-no. He should have folded his tent and left.

Bill T.
Bill T.

You're replying to SPAM.

Harry
Harry

Yah, boy was gonna' say some black dude bust in his house and killed his biatch and that he tried to shoot dude with a shotgun the brotha' dropped as he was going over the fence.  Like when the police in the Scott Pederson case were focusing on the idea that there were a few minority men seen hanging out in the neighborhood.

Guest
Guest

He dosent deserve to get Death. he should  get life to live the rest of his life with trash.

guest
guest

R.I.P. Chriss. chris was one of my good customers. I will miss her so much. I can't believe some one will kill over a business. I dont have a heart to kill checken. Im Glad this evel didnt kill him self to live his life, suffer, have a gray hair,  get sick and get so old and finally die in jail like a rat.

Mkell34
Mkell34

I hope he burns in Hell!! Murder for a businness dispute? Hope he is man enough to plead guilty and ask for death.

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