STEVENSVILLE - Police say a 15-year-old Stevensville boy enraged about an unspecified domestic incident allegedly killed his mother's boyfriend late Thursday.
Josh Smith, 5566 E. Karen Court, is being held on suspicion of murder in the death of David Loveland, 44, also of 5566 E. Karen Court. Lincoln Township Police Chief Dan Sullivan said police arrested Smith without incident about 5 p.m. Friday at his home.
Sullivan said police were called to East Karen Court shortly before 11 p.m. on a report of a fight possibly about to break out among a group of "young people" in the street. As police arrived they found Smith and the young people a couple of blocks away and took Smith back to his home.
The police determined the fight already had happened, but that it was between Smith and Loveland.
They found Loveland inside the home lying on a couch and not breathing. He was later declared dead at Lakeland Regional Medical Center, St. Joseph.
At first, investigators weren't certain if Loveland's death was the result of foul play or natural causes. After an autopsy Friday at Blodgett Hospital in Grand Rapids, the cause of death was ruled a homicide, the Sullivan said.
"It was a direct result of the physical assault," said Sullivan, adding that no weapon was used. "(Loveland's death) was a direct result of being hit by Smith."
Sullivan said the teen, a sophomore at Lakeshore High School, was enraged at Loveland over a domestic incident that took place at an earlier time away from the home. But Sullivan declined to offer specifics.
"It was over a family matter," Sullivan said. "There was an accusation about some inappropriate behavior - not in Lincoln Township - regarding this guy (Loveland) and another relative. ... He (Smith) was just very angry about this incident involving another family member and he went into a rage, basically."
It wasn't immediately known if Loveland has a criminal history, but he was known to the Lincoln Township Police Department.
"The department has had contact with him in the past," Sullivan said, declining to elaborate.
The chief said he doesn't believe Smith has any criminal history.
Sullivan said Smith and Loveland lived at the home with Smith's mother, Rhonda Smith. He described Loveland as Rhonda Smith's "domestic partner." He said police previously had been called to the home on reports of domestic disputes, but none of the earlier incidents were between Smith and Loveland.
Smith is being held without bond at the Berrien County Juvenile Center.