Murder details emerge in preliminary hearing

By Jamie Ertle-Durden - email

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Police and prosecutors presented evidence against 24-year-old Michael Hunter on Thursday. Hunter is acccused of felony murder and financial credit card fraud in the death of Christine Pingle. She was found murdered at her Sunnybrook Road home on Aug. 1.  See Murder victim remembered by co-workers.

Police released the autopsy results in court. They revealed that Pingle had been strangled and suffocated. Police started tracking leads after a bank contacted them that her debit card had been used after he death. They even questioned Pingle's son, who was in jail at the time of her murder. When they arrested Hunter on suspicion of using Pingle's card, he admitted someone got the card for him.

Det. Roy Ricardo with the Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Dept. questioned Hunter for hours after Pingle's murder.  He testified, "Mr. Hunter was resigned that the only way you get a credit card and a PIN number was to torture the person."

Ricardo also said, "He asked about Ms. Pingle's family on several occasions because it was clear at that point we were talking about a homicide."  Ricardo continued, "I told him I appreciate the fact he was showing remorse, some sort of sympathy, showing concern. He made it clear he wasn't remorseful about nothing he was just asking."

Hunter admitted to credit card fraud; he never admitted to killing Pingle, according to authorities.

Judge Tammy Stokes sent Hunter's case to the grand jury where they will determine whether or not he will go to trial.

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