West Hills murder suspect caught in Yucca Valley motel room


Authorities said Monday that Michael Rodney Kane, 46, was arrested shortly after midnight at Desert View Motel in Yucca Valley.

Police say he stabbed ex-wife Michelle Ann Kane, 43, outside a home in West Hills Saturday and fled the scene before officers arrived.

LAPD detectives received a tip on Sunday from the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department that Kane's 1999 Chrysler 300M was found in the Joshua Tree area, and that he was staying at the motel.

Deputies found his car abandoned and were able to get information on his whereabouts. They got a key to room 112 at the motel and tried to unlock it, but the door was secured from the inside.

Deputies kicked in the door to get inside and make the arrest.

"They kicked the door in and dragged him right out, told him to get on his knees," said Michael Colby, a motel guest.

"We had information that the suspect was seriously injured. That information came from family members, and they were concerned about his well-being, medically," said Peteque.

West Hills resident Michelle Kane had filed a restraining order against Michael Kane. Police say the victim reported a violation of that temporary restraining order Friday and then took her two children to a friend's house. Michael allegedly vandalized the former couple's house, prompting Michelle to seek safety at a friend's residence.

"We advised Ms. Kane to take all necessary precautions available to her with regard to the restraining order we were able to obtain on her behalf," her attorneys said in a statement. "She went to the police station Friday, twice, and later called again to seek assistance from what she considered an imminent threat to her life and the lives of her children."

On Saturday morning, residents of the 7100 block of Deveron Ridge Road said the suspect showed up and threatened to kill his wife. A friend confronted him while Michelle Kane ran down the street to get away. Police say the suspect caught up to her and stabbed her to death on the street. A man was injured trying to assist Michelle.

"I noticed somebody laying on the street, on the corner, and I walked up there and there was a woman lying on the street, dead, cut horribly," said West Hills resident Roy Bernard.

Police say Michael Kane was injured when he was taken into custody, but it was not clear how he was injured. He was treated at an area hospital.

"He did have numerous injuries, which we observed to be puncture wounds and lacerations," said LAPD Det. Dave Peteque.

Michael Kane has worked as a teacher since 2008 at Nestle Avenue Elementary School in Tarzana. He has been credentialed in California since 1998 and began his career as a substitute teacher.

Police say the couple's two children, ages 6 and 2, are in the care of their grandparents.

Kane was booked on first-degree murder at the Van Nuys LAPD station. He could be making his first court appearance on Wednesday, according to the L.A. County District Attorney's Office.

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