Michael Chadd Boysen, accused of strangling his grandparents in the Renton home on March 9 — the day after he got out of prison — pleaded not guilty to two counts of aggravated first-degree murder on Thursday in King County Superior Court.
Boysen, 26, walking with a limp and wearing the white jail uniform reserved for “ultra security” inmates, glanced to the gallery as he was led into court. Several members of his family attended his arraignment, and his mother cried when she saw him. The family declined to speak to the media.
Defense attorney Jim Conroy said his client “would like to extend his condolences to the entire family.”
“We know the family had been through a very traumatic time,” said Conroy, adding that he hopes the family will eventually agree to speak with the defense team. “But we don’t want to make it worse for them.”
If convicted, Boysen faces either life in prison without parole or the death penalty. Conroy, who did not seek bail, said he “will try to discourage” King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg from seeking the death penalty in the case. The prosecutor has 30 days to decide but will ask a judge to extend the decision deadline.
Conroy said Boysen’s limp is “related to the circumstances of his arrest” after a 10-hour standoff in a hotel in Lincoln City, Ore. He declined to elaborate.
Boysen was released from the Monroe Correctional Facility on March 8 after serving nine months of a 16-month sentence for attempted burglary. His grandparents, Robert Taylor, 82, and Norma Taylor, 80, picked him up from prison that morning and spent the day with him running errands. That night, they hosted a welcome-home party celebrating his return.
According to charging documents, he was supposed to spend the night there and be picked up at noon the next day by his paternal aunt. When she arrived, however, there was no answer at the door. The woman said she called Boysen’s sister to tell her, and then left.
A few hours later, Melanie Taylor — the couple’s daughter and Boysen’s adoptive mother — let herself into the home with a key. She noticed her parents’ red 2001 Chrysler 300 was missing, as was her mother’s cellphone, according to the papers. The documents note that Norma Taylor was deaf and used her phone to communicate through text messages.
“After spending some time in the house waiting,” the charges say, Melanie Taylor “decided to look around” and noticed the unmade bed in the spare room where her son was supposed to have spent the night. Not long afterwards, found her parents dead in the room’s closet, according to the court documents.
Police said they had been strangled with a shoelace.
According to charging papers, Boysen stole their car, at least $5,200 in cash, sterling silverware and a significant amount of jewelryom the home, including his grandfather’s wedding ring. Police say he pawned the jewelry in Kent and used his grandfather’s credit card at a nearby Fred Meyer to buy electronics, CDs, a suitcase and other items.
On March 10, Boysen dumped his grandparent’s car in Salem, Ore., bought another car with cash and checked into a motel in Lincoln City, according to the charges. Two days later, a clerk at the motel recognized Boysen, who by then was the focus of a multi-state manhunt. He was arrested after a standoff and booked into jail after being treated for self-inflicted cuts.