Bloomington man’s family says he was stepping in to help when he was murdered

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

UPDATE (Nov. 30, 2018) -- Kenneth Hawkins pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter. Charges of criminal confinement and domestic battery were dismissed as part of his plea agreement. He was sentenced to 15 years in the Department of Correction.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The family of a man murdered in Bloomington this week say he was stepping in to save someone else's life.

Michael Rainey, 46, died Tuesday after he was stabbed inside an apartment on South O'Dell Drive.

"Mike was a good person," his aunt, Rosemary Lirot, said.

According to court documents, Rainey showed up at the apartment to help his estranged wife, who was fighting with her current boyfriend, Kenneth Hawkins. She told police Hawkins had threatened to kill her, locked her in an upstairs room, and later hit her repeatedly in the head. Detectives said injuries substantiated her claims.

"He was always there to help anybody that needed him," Rainey's cousin, Teresa Mobley, said.

When Rainey showed up this time, though, detectives say Hawkins stabbed him in the chest.

In the documents, a witness told detectives she "found Michael on the floor at the bottom of the stairs and she began to perform CPR on him." Others said, "while CPR was being performed, Kenneth came downstairs and kicked Mike about four times and said, 'Hope he dies.'"

Prosecutors charged Hawkins with murder. He told investigators the stabbing was in self-defense, and that "...he blacked out and when he woke up he had a knife in his hand and there was blood on it and Michael was walking away."

Hawkins is being held without bail in the Monroe County Jail, where he faces a murder charge and two charges related to domestic violence.

"We’re proud that Mike would give his life to save somebody," Lirot said.

Lirot said Rainey was the last remaining member of her sister's branch of the family. He had lost both his brothers, his mom, and just last month, his dad.

"We’ve lost them all in the last couple years and it’s hard to think he was the last one, and he’s been through so much but he still helped other people ," Lirot said.

Mobley said she hoped Rainey's death would shed light on the ramifications of domestic violence, and encourage others to ask for help or step in before it's too late.

"Maybe we can all help people that are in domestic violence situations and be someone there that they can come to if we need help. I don’t think it’s spoken about enough," Mobley said.

Rainey's family say he spent his remaining money on his father's funeral, and they are fundraising to give him a proper funeral. You can donate directly to The Funeral Chapel in Bloomington or at the link here.

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