A Pierce County prosecutor charged a Tacoma man with first-degree murder today in connection with his father’s death.
According to the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office, Jonathan Meline, 29, a man who has previously been diagnosed with a mental illness, attacked his 56-year-old father, Robert Meline, with a hatchet at 2:30 a.m. Thursday in their North Tacoma home.
Jonathan Meline bought the hatchet June 23, prosecutors say.
Charging documents say the suspect’s sister woke in a downstairs bedroom to the sound of thumping on the ceiling, her father screaming.
She begged her brother not to kill her, and he told her had no plans to kill her, according to the documents. Both then walked 2-1/2 miles to the Pierce County Jail where Jonathan Meline turned himself in.
He reportedly told his sister that he “had to” kill his father and told investigators he thought his father was hurting little children, according to the prosecutor’s office.
Jonathan Meline had been released to his parents in January after being civilly committed to Western State Hospital at the state’s request because of a “history of dangerous and life-threatening behavior” according to the prosecutor’s office. Charging documents also said that at the time of his release, there was no indication that his condition had improved enough for him to stand trial in a robbery case.
“Nobody at Western State has a crystal ball, but someone with serious mental-health problems should be in treatment and not on our streets,” said Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist in a statement.