No Death Penalty for Garage-Sale Killer

July 24, 2009 at 3:37 pm | Posted in News | Leave a comment

090316_charles_nettlebeckIt’s always sad when a scavenging venue is involved in a double homicide.

According to Seattle TV station KOMO, 52-year-old Charles W. Nettlebeck (seen at left in a KOMO photo) killed his wife and stepdaughter with an axe during preparations for a garage sale he was to hold with them the next day in Orting, Washington. Today a Pierce County prosecutor announced that he would not seek the death penalty in the March murders, based on Nettlebeck’s history of mental-health issues.

“Nettlebeck earlier told detectives he tried to hang himself at his home after attacking his wife and stepdaughter, court documents said. His suicide attempt failed, however, and he went on a spray-painting rampage leaving messages in red that said, ‘Could not find help. No where to go’ and ‘I loved my wife — for better or worst,’ detectives said.

“According to court documents, Nettlebeck’s wife had a restraining order against him and was in the process of getting a divorce. But, despite the order, he went to his wife’s home in Orting on Friday, March 13, to participate in a garage sale.

“It was not clear exactly what prompted the attack, but prosecutors allege Nettlebeck’s wife said something to him, and he picked up an axe and struck her with it, nearly decapitating her.

“After hitting his wife, Nettlebeck went outside, found Hawkins and hit her three times with the axe, the documents said.

“Nettlebeck finally called 911 roughly three hours after the killings, prosecutors said.

“When deputies arrived at the home in the 27200 block of 168th Avenue Court East, Nettlebeck’s wife was already dead and Hawkins was critically injured. Hawkins was rushed to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle where she later died.”

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