The man accused of strangling his grandparents in their Renton home on March 9 — the day after he got out of prison — entered an Alford plea Friday morning to two counts of aggravated first-degree murder.
Michael Chadd Boysen, 27, faces a sentence of life in prison without parole. The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office had decided in August not to seek the death penalty. Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 18.
In an Alford plea, a defendant concedes there is sufficient evidence to support a conviction, but does not directly acknowledge guilt. Boysen entered the plea against the advice of his defense counsel.
He said in a written statement that he can’t recall the specific circumstances of the slayings, but he’s truly remorseful and doesn’t want to put his family through the trauma of a trial.
Boysen was released from the Monroe Correctional Complex 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 court 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 afterward, she 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 jewelry from 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 grandparents’ 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.