Sunday, August 3, 2008

Long history of domestic violence ends with man's death, woman's arrest


Issaquah police have arrested a 19-year-old woman in connection with the death of her 21-year-old boyfriend, who died after being stabbed once in the chest.
Court records show a lengthy history of domestic violence between the two, dating to when the woman was just 16-years-old.

The couple have a child in common and Issaquah police had been to the apartment they shared a "handful of times" since January, responding to reports of noise and disputes, Deputy Chief Steve Cozart said.

The victim had petitioned for a temporary order for protection in May, but it was unclear whether the order was currently in effect. There were earlier protection orders in place, according to court records, that were issued to prevent the victim from contacting the woman.

The woman provided a statement to detectives about what happened, and investigators are working to see whether her version of events matches the evidence at the scene, Cozart said.

Asked whether the woman was claiming she stabbed her boyfriend in self-defense, the deputy chief said, "That's one of the many things she's claimed."

The first police knew of the stabbing was when the staff at Swedish Medical Center in Issaquah called police at about 10:20 p.m. Friday, Cozart said.

The woman had taken her mortally wounded boyfriend to the hospital, then left. The man was later transported to Harborview Medical Center, but he did not survive his injuries.

Patrol officers were dispatched to the apartment complex where the couple lived and were there just as the woman was pulling into the parking lot, Cozart said.

The woman was taken in for questioning. She was later arrested and booked into the King County Jail for investigation of second-degree murder Saturday afternoon, Cozart said.

The couple, who have dated for four years, had a tumultuous relationship that included frequent reports of assault and threats on both their parts.

In April 2005, both were arrested by Fife police after they got into a fight at a friend's residence there.

A no-contact order was issued after that arrest, but the victim was accused of violating it more than once. And, court records show, at times the woman, still a minor at the time, ran away from her Puyallup home to the Renton-area residence of her boyfriend.

In August 2005, the two had an argument that escalated into a three-day kidnapping during which the man was accused of strangling the woman twice, making her sleep in his car on two successive nights, and violating the existing no-contact order. At times, he was accused of shoving the woman, slapping her, and punching her in the head.

At the time, the two were not living together and had no children.

In the end, the man pleaded guilty in King County Superior Court to violating the no-contact order.
Cozart said it was not clear whether the two were currently living together. He said detectives will continue to process the apartment for evidence.

Issaquah police are being assisted in the investigation by Kirkland police, the Washington State Patrol and the Coalition of Small Police Agencies Major Crimes Task Force.

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