Apparent murder of patient first at Western State in 20 years

Apr 23, 2012
Originally published on April 23, 2012 4:22 pm

A fight over unwanted sexual behavior may have led to the apparent murder of a patient at Washington’s Western State Hospital. Prosecutors have not yet filed charges in connection with the death last Friday.

It was around 3 o’clock last Friday afternoon that staff at Western State found the victim, 28-year-old Paul Montefusco in another patient’s room. Lt. Chris Lawler of the Lakewood Police Department describes the scene.

“The victim that was on the floor had a pen shoved into one of his ears and he had like some shaving cream on his head. So it didn’t look like an expected death or a natural death.”

The suspect tells police Montefusco entered his room, urinated on him and then began unwanted sexual behavior. That triggered a fight and the stabbing. Afterwards, the 40-year-old suspect apparently sprayed shaving cream on the victim before retreating to another room.

Both men were non-criminal patients in the civil commitment ward at the mental hospital.

The CEO of Western State calls it a “tragic death” and the first incident of its kind at the hospital in nearly 20 years. The suspect who is a registered sex offender is now being held for second degree murder.

On the Web:

Western State Hospital:

http://www.dshs.wa.gov/mhsystems/wsh.shtml

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