A man with an “extensive history of domestic-violence convictions” has been arrested after killing his estranged girlfriend, who had taken out an order of protection against him. The couple's two children were in the apartment at the time of the shooting.
The 46-year-old man has been charged with first-degree murder, first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm and a domestic-violence felony violation of a court order. Bail was set at $5 million.
In late September, the 33-year-old woman was found dead in an apartment in the city of Federal Way, located between Seattle and Tacoma. The couple's two children, a 5-year-old and a 6-month-old, as well as the shooter's mother, were in the apartment when the couple got into an argument and the suspect pulled out a gun. The woman was struggling with the man to get ahold of the gun when it fired. The grandmother fled the apartment with the children. The suspect then turned the gun on himself. He was taken to a local hospital for treatment.
About two weeks before the shooting, the victim had gone to court to obtain multiple no-contact orders to prevent the suspect from getting near her or their children. The orders were the result of a previous domestic-violence case pending against the suspect who has a history of domestic-violence convictions involving different victims dating back to 1991.
Earlier this year another woman was shot and killed by her estranged boyfriend after she sought an order of protection against him.
The 27-year-old nurse was shot and killed at the Tacoma-area rehabilitation center where she worked. Her 41-year-old boyfriend was killed fleeing from police. After shooting the victim, the man engaged in a high-speed chase on Interstate 5 with police, shooting at officers as he fled. No officers were injured.
In Washington State, domestic violence means causing physical harm, bodily injury, assault or the infliction of fear of imminent physical harm. It also includes sexual assault and stalking. Federal law bars some abusers from buying or owning weapons, and some states, like Washington, have passed their own version of the requirement.
When police respond to a domestic violence call, they interview those involved to determine if there is probable cause to believe domestic violence occurred. Officers do not need definitive proof that domestic violence occurred. They merely have to determine there is sufficient reason to believe a crime was committed. If officers determine a false report was made, it could be the accuser who is arrested.
Once an arrest is made, the person suspected of domestic violence or the person suspected of making a false report can be jailed for up to 72 hours before being charged. At a defendant's first court appearance, called an arraignment, a judge may issue a no-contact order while the case wends it's way through the court system.
Domestic violence is a serious issue. Defendants who find themselves facing a judge on charges of domestic violence have a right to the best defense. If you have been arrested, call the Seattle law office of Steve Karimi at (206) 621-8777 or contact him online.