‘I should have killed him a long time ago:’ Man admits to murdering stepfather in Gilbert on Christmas, docs say

As officers tried to detain Michael Kaser, court paperwork says he uttered, “I killed my stepfather,” and “I should have killed him a long time ago.”
Published: Dec. 27, 2022 at 11:40 AM MST|Updated: Dec. 27, 2022 at 6:30 PM MST
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GILBERT, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- Court documents obtained by Arizona’s Family early Tuesday revealed that the 48-year-old man accused of murdering his stepfather after returning from a Christmas dinner admitted the crime to Gilbert officers.

Per those documents, Gilbert police were first called out to a report of a suspicious car on Osborne Lane, near Recker and Warner roads, around 4:30 p.m. on Sunday. When they arrived, they found a car with what appeared to have multiple bullet holes in the windshield. Investigators say Michael Kinney was found unresponsive inside, with blood coming from his mouth. A short time later, Michael Trevlyn Kaser came out from the house through the garage.

As officers approached and tried to detain him, court paperwork says he uttered, “I killed my stepfather,” and “I should have killed him a long time ago.” Police say they found blood on Kaser’s jacket and several shell casings on the garage floor. One witness told authorities at the time that he had heard Kinney say, “I’m going to [expletive] kill you” before the shooting occurred.

Police tried to perform CPR on Kinney, but paramedics later pronounced him dead at the scene.

During an interview with authorities, Kaser again reportedly admitted to the murder. He said that he was in the car with his mother and stepfather, on their way home from a Christmas dinner, and that he got out of the car as the car approached their house. Kaser then retrieved a .380 handgun from the home, walked back outside, and fired several shots through the windshield on the driver’s side as Kinney was pulling into the driveway. After the shooting, he reportedly reached into the car and put it in neutral. The car then rolled back down the driveway and struck another nearby home.

Kaser noted that he didn’t remember his mother being in the car at the time of the shooting and said he did not want to hurt anyone else. When Kaser was asked why he did it, he said he was “done” with Kinney. Kaser alleged that his stepfather had physically and mentally abused him and his mother for years. he also said that he had thought about killing Kinney for the better part of 20 years and had almost killed him before.

Colleen Mohrman, a neighbor, said she was scared when she heard gunshots but thought it must’ve been kids playing with a toy gun and shooting at birds. “And then, after that, I heard an adult voice. It sounded like a male voice say, ‘No, no, no. Mike, no,” said Mohrman. Soon after, she saw police units rolling in. The area was blocked off, with some neighbors unable to get to their homes.

Mohrman said she didn’t feel unsafe, knowing it was an isolated incident. However, she’s surprised to hear Kaser’s motive for allegedly killing Kinney. “You just never know what’s going on behind closed doors. You think it’s a happy family, and now we learned that it obviously wasn’t,” she said.

Dr. Grace Beacham, the Chief Administrator for Agnes’ Centers for Domestic Solutions and a survivor herself, said victims can bottle their feelings and snap. “Normally when a victim retaliates, they’re on the edge,” she said. “Domestic abuse is all about two things; power and control.” She explained three main characters of domestic abuse: the victim, the perpetrator, and the bystander.

Dr. Beacham advises victims to speak out before their situation escalates, as it did for Kaser and neighbors to reach out if they see or hear anything suspicious. “It’s okay to approach them and say, ‘Hey, I heard you guys arguing last night. Is everything okay? Do you need some help with anything?’ Most people will shy away from that, but at least that perpetrator will know that you can hear what’s going on in the house,” said Dr. Beacham.

Kaser now faces a first-degree murder charge and a single weapon possession charge. If you or anyone you know needs help, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at (800)-799-7233.