Follow us:

The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

August 6, 2014 at 12:12 PM

Seattle man accused in ax killings to undergo evaluation

A 45-year-old Seattle man accused of killing his mother and stepfather with an ax last month is being sent to Western State Hospital to undergo a mental-health evaluation.

The order for the competency evaluation postponed this morning’s arraignment for Richard Parenteau Jr., 45, who is charged with two counts of first-degree murder. He is being held in the King County Jail in lieu of $5 million bail.

Once he’s admitted to Western State, the evaluation could take up to 15 days, according to the order.

A competency hearing is currently scheduled for Aug. 25 when a judge could decide whether Parenteau is competent to stand trial.

Parenteau had been involuntarily committed for mental-health issues several times over the past 1½ years and had made a number of documented threats to kill family members, police and neighbors, according to the probable-cause statement outlining the police case against him.

Just before 6:30 a.m. July 19, a pedestrian called 911 to report finding a body near Eighth Avenue South and South Portland Street on the Duwamish Waterway, the statement says. Police identified the body as that of Parenteau’s stepfather, David Wells, 69, according to the statement.

Based on the injuries to his head, detectives determined that he’d been killed elsewhere, and crime-scene investigators found a blood trail that extended “just two short blocks,” the statement says.

After identifying Wells, detectives went to his house in the 700 block of South Southern Street, which is five blocks south of where the body was found, the statement says. Detectives obtained a search warrant and found Parenteau inside the house, the statement says.

While detectives were serving the search warrant, a second person called 911 to report finding a woman’s body under the First Avenue South bridge, according to the statement. It was determined the body was that of Linda Parenteau, 70, the mother of the suspect.

According to charging documents, the victims were killed with an ax.

A next-door neighbor told The Seattle Times that Parenteau would often scream obscenities, talk jibberish to himself and throw punches in the air.

Patty Engrissei, who has lived in an apartment next door to Wells and Linda Parenteau for a decade, said a SWAT team had been called to the house at least three times in the past two years.

“He was like a ticking time bomb,” she said of Parenteau.

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: homicide, King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, mental health evaluation

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►