Florida

He’s had 3 domestic violence arrests involving his wife. Now, he’s accused of murder

Mike Newhouse
Mike Newhouse

A Florida man arrested three times previously for domestic violence against his wife now is charged with her murder.

After Tina Newhouse was found dead in her North Fort Myers home on Tuesday, three days after her 51st birthday, crime statistics and history pointed investigators toward her husband of 15 years, Mike Newhouse. The 58-year-old was taken into custody Thursday in Osceola County and charged with second-degree murder, his second arrest in 12 days.

Newhouse’s third domestic violence-battery arrest was July 21. Upon his release after posting $750 bond, he had been under a No Contact order regarding his wife.

That arrest report says Tina Newhouse called the Lee County Sheriff’s Office. When deputies arrived, they found her bleeding from “a minor laceration to her left cheek.”

Each told deputies that during an argument about Tina’s daughter borrowing money, she flung a cellphone toward her husband as he sat on a couch six feet away from her chair. The cellphone bounced harmlessly on the couch. Mike Newhouse fired the cellphone back at his wife. It bounced off of her face.

Mike Newhouse said the phone hitting his wife’s face counted as him “being lucky.”

After he waived his right to remain silent, the report says, Mike repeated that “he was ‘lucky’ when he hit Tina in her face. Deputy Chala asked him if he believed he was wrong when he hit his wife and he said he did not believe it was wrong. He added that he threw the phone back to her because he got “mad.”

The report said deputies smelled alcohol on Mike Newhouse, a common thread through the three domestic violence-battery arrest reports.

In October 2013, Tina Newhouse told deputies her husband punched her and threw a pot of water at her. The deputy on the scene described seeing dried blood on her face, a swollen upper lip and wet clothes. The state attorney’s office eventually declined to file charges.

They had filed charges after a 2011 incident after a deputy who arrived to find the couple arguing in the nude..

As Tina told it, she woke up to find Mike naked, on top of her and in the mood. A night of drinking and arguing left Tina feeling differently. Tina said in the ensuing struggle, Mike punched her in the face. Her husband then completed a pre-trial diversion program.

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