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September 18, 2014 at 11:33 AM

Sammamish homicide victim met suspect through his church

Update 3:45 p.m.

Overlake Christian Church has identified a parishioner as the man killed in Sammamish on Wednesday.

“All of us at Overlake Christian Church who knew Rich Bergesen personally are grieving today.

Rich’s caring and compassionate heart touched many hurting people in our world. From ministering to street kids impacted by HIV/AIDS in South African townships, to community outreaches in Chile, to opening his home to a teenager in need, Rich was tireless in helping build the Kingdom of God here on earth. Rich was a tremendous friend, and a vibrant, essential part of our church family.

When Rich learned the story of Kevin Patterson, a homeless young man whom our team befriended and began serving in December 2012, Rich offered him a place to stay and helped him take positive steps in his life. Rich and Kevin attended Sunday services, and were both at OCC last weekend. Rich had recently said that the nearly year-long experience, though stretching, was positive and that he felt blessed to be able to help someone in this significant way. Rich was in the trenches of Christian ministrybeing the hands and feet of Jesus to those hurting in our world.

We pray now for all who knew and loved Rich and were touched by his open-heartedness, generosity, and courage. We also pray for Kevin and those who care about him and are grieving today as well.”

Update at 1:55 p.m.: A Sammamish man found dead in his home on Wednesday was allegedly killed by a former homeless man who he took in after meeting him through his church.

Kevin D. Patterson, 20, was homeless until he met a group of youth pastors from Overlake Christian Church at Jack in the Box restaurant,  according to a defense sentencing memo provided to a judge in connection with a recent case Patterson was involved with.

The Redmond church allowed Patterson to camp on their property and then “secured long-term housing for him,” the memo said.

According to sources, that long-term housing was provided by the victim, a fellow parishioner. A spokesman from the church has not returned a call for comment.

Seattle defense attorney Tim Leary, who represented Patterson in the recent criminal trespass case, said he was “floored” to hear Patterson was being linked to the slaying. He called Patterson in a Canadian jail on Thursday and spoke with him.

“He’s denying he did this. He doesn’t have an assaultive history,” Leary said. “He had made tremendous strides in getting his life back on track, he was clean and sober and was getting back into school.”

Leary said Patterson was sentenced last week to 180 hours of community service, restitution and was forbidden from contacting the Redmond Library in connection with the criminal trespassing case.

Patterson was sentenced last Friday for first-degree criminal trespass, stemming from a break-in at the Redmond Library on Dec. 25, 2012. In that incident, Patterson was described in charges as a “locally known transient with frequent police contact.”

Original post:

A 57-year-old Sammamish man who was found dead inside a home on Wednesday appears to have been beaten with a shovel.

A source close to the investigation said that a camping shovel was found near the body of the slain man, whose name has not been released by the King County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Kevin D. Patterson, a 20-year-old named by the King County Sheriff’s Office as the prime suspect in the case, was arrested in British Columbia on Wednesday night.

The law enforcement source said that Patterson called a friend to discuss the slaying and said he was in Canada.

Sheriff’s spokeswoman Sgt. DB Gates said Thursday that police in Abbotsford, B.C., located a blue BMW believed to be driven by Patterson outside a motel. When two men got into the car to leave, police stopped them.

Patterson, who has dual U.S. and Canadian citizenship, and an 18-year-old U.S. citizen whose name has not been released, were arrested for investigation of possession of stolen property, Gates said. The men were in a stolen car, she added.

The law enforcement source said Thursday that the BMW belonged to the victim.

Patterson lived at the house  in the 23100 block of Southeast 26th Place where the victim was found. It’s unclear whether he lived there part-time or full-time.

The victim was killed sometime between 11 a.m. Tuesday and Wednesday morning, Gates said. The 18-year-old man was present when the victim was killed, Gates said.

“We believe he was here [at the Sammamish home], but his involvement in the actual homicide isn’t clear yet,” Gates said.

A motive has not been released.

Sheriff’s detectives are in Canada working on the case, Gates said. Crime-scene experts with the sheriff’s office are still at the Sammamish home investigating.

Dan Donohoe, spokesman for the King County Prosecutor’s Office, said that his office is looking into extradition details.

Comments | Topics: homicide, King County Sheriff's Office, Sammamish

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