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Cops: Tempers flared, wife killed husband wit
They say she later taught fourth-grade class and then cleaned up
May 15, 2004

The end came on the afternoon of Mother's Day. Nancy and Robert Seaman were celebrating at home in Farmington Hills with their older son when they began to argue.

The yelling grew so intense, the son left for his Downriver home. Within 10 minutes, Nancy Seaman was at the Commerce Township Home Depot purchasing an ax, said Farmington Hills police, who reconstructed the night and following days through evidence and interviews.

Police say Seaman then returned to the rambling Tudor in the Ramblewood subdivision. She walked into the kitchen and slammed the ax into her husband's head.

Then she dragged her husband's body a short distance into the attached garage and began stabbing him with a knife and smashing him with a sledgehammer, police said.

The next day, Seaman taught her fourth-grade class, and then stopped at Home Depot a second time for cleaning materials to wipe up the mess, police said.

On Friday afternoon, Seaman, 52, stood before 47th District Judge James Brady. Clad in a green sweatshirt, she pleaded not guilty to a charge of first-degree murder. She faces life in prison if convicted.

Robert Seaman, 50, was left with 20 stab wounds, a crushed skull, a fractured clavicle and a slashed throat.

Nancy Seaman's attorney said Friday that she had endured a lifetime of physical abuse from her husband, including hitting, kicking and knifing.

Administrators at Longacre Elementary School told detectives that the friendly and award-winning teacher appeared disheveled and out of sorts on Monday, according to Police Chief William Dwyer.

After the final bell rang Monday afternoon, police said, Nancy Seaman returned to the Home Depot. Videotapes from the store and receipts found in her purse revealed bleach, a tarp, duct tape and products used to scrub her home were purchased with cash.

On Tuesday night, a relative filed a missing person's report for Robert Seaman. By Wednesday, an out-of-town relative called police suggesting foul play. Police went to the Seaman home.

There they found Robert Seaman's body in the back of the couple's black Ford Explorer. His body was wrapped in the tarp, tightly coiled with duct tape. A knife was discovered inside the tarp.

"In the classroom she displayed a friendliness. She had a close relationship with her students, and she was well-liked," Dwyer said.

"But then there was another side," he said. "She'd be outraged, violent. She threw things."

Employees at her husband's business, Put One in the Upper Deck, an indoor batting cage in Northville, told police she had a temper.

Inside the Seamans' gated neighborhood, details of the couple's relationship have residents buzzing.

"This is one of the most exclusive subdivisions in Farmington Hills," said Tom Bryant, a Ramblewood resident. "Things like this don't happen here. People are wondering if it was a lover who killed him."

At the district court Friday, family members wept, rubbed their eyes and smiled at one another. They declined to comment about the couple or the details of the crime.

In court, Nancy Seaman's attorney, Don Ferris, said she had suffered a broken hand and wrist because of abuse by her husband. At least once, her husband slashed her hand with a knife. Robert Seaman, Ferris said, made a habit of hitting and kicking his wife.

"Her sons will testify that she made repeated trips to the emergency room but never reported her husband," Ferris said.

"Her son will say that when he goes to buy her blouses, he buys long sleeves because she always has bruises."

Friends and acquaintances told police detectives that Robert Seaman was cheating on his wife. But Oakland County Assistant Prosecutor Tom McAndrew said there is no evidence that Seaman mistreated his wife.

"There was no evidence of physical abuse to her," McAndrew said. "Her bruises could have been self-imposed. And she was trying to clean up and roll his body in a tarp. She lied to her son about where her husband was."

The Seamans were preparing to divorce, Dwyer said. Nancy was living on the upper floor of their home, Robert on the first floor.

Both are native Michiganders. Robert attended a private college in the West and earned an engineering degree. It is unclear where Nancy attended school before she began teaching.

They married in 1973 and had two sons. The older is 26, married, works as an engineer and lives Downriver. The younger is 22 and set to graduate from Purdue University on Sunday.

Nancy Seaman has been in custody since Wednesday night. Dwyer said she has spoken very little and spends time just staring.

Before a courtroom full of family, Seaman never once turned back to meet their eyes. She didn't stop to say good-bye to her child.

Her preliminary exam will begin at 9 a.m. May 24.

Bill  From VA
Without Prejudice
“Sheriffs, having eyes to see, see not; judges having ears to hear, hear not; Among the most dangerous things an injured party can do is to appeal to justice. ” Mitchum v. Foster 92 S. Ct. 2151