Hiker Killed in Washington State

Washington Murder and Manslaughter Charges

Washington Homicide Charges

On August 20, 2022, Aron Christensen and his puppy were found deceased on a hiking trail in Lewis County. Two hikers in the area heard growling followed by a gunshot, and then found Aron Christensen’s body. Washington Homicide Charges are being investigated in connection with this tragic incident. Christensen’s family allege that the police had not given them the cause of death until a week after the body was received by the sheriff’s office. The reports found that the doctor performing Christensen’s autopsy reportedly was pressured into ruling the cause of death as a heart attack and not a gunshot wound. Additionally, two veterinarians conducting the dog’s autopsy each came up with different reasons for the dog’s cause of death, one being stabbed to death, and the other being a gunshot wound. The way that this situation was handled was unprofessional at best, and one can only hope the rest of the investigation will bring justice.

Homicide is a grave offense that strikes at the heart of our society, and we expect other officials to treat it as such. As an established criminal law firm, The Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer believes that everyone has a right to an experienced attorney and the right to due process. Our attorneys will fight to protect your rights in any situation. The carelessness of officials such as the Lewis County Sheriff’s office carries distrust in law enforcement and their commitment to the rights and protection of citizens.

Defining Homicide

Homicide refers to the act of unlawfully causing the death of another person. In Washington, as in most jurisdictions, homicide is categorized into various degrees based on the intent, circumstances, and severity of the act. The two main types of homicide are Murder and Manslaughter which mainly differ on whether or not the intent to cause the death of an individual was present. If Christensen was killed with premeditation or got into a heated argument with another person prompting the gun shot, then it would constitute a murder charge. However, if he was killed due to an accidental firing of the gun it would most likely result in a manslaughter charge.

Homicide Charges in Washington

Murder in the 1st Degree: Murder in the First Degree is the most severe form of homicide, is characterized by premeditation, deliberation, and intent to cause the death of another person. It can carry fines up to $50,000.00 and life in prison as a Class A Felony in the state of Washington.

Murder in the 2nd Degree: Murder in the Second Degree involves killing another person with the intent to cause death, but without premeditation. This charge is a Class A Felony with the same potential penalties as Murder in the First Degree.

Manslaughter in the 1st Degree: If one causes the death of another individual due to reckless behavior then it would be charged as Manslaughter in the First Degree. This offense is a Class A Felony with similar penalties as mentioned above.

Manslaughter in the 2nd Degree: Manslaughter in the Second Degree is committed when one causes the death of another individual due to some form of negligence. This is categorized as a Class B Felony and can carry up to 10 years in prison and $20,000.00 in fines.

How We Can Help You

Understanding the legal landscape surrounding homicide in the state of Washington is vital for anyone involved in or affected by such cases. Circumstances involved where the law enforcement agency such as the Lewis County Sheriff’s office not being able to conduct a proper autopsy where conflicting information is involved only leads to further complicate cases such as these. In such scenarios, it is important to have a skilled attorney at your side in order to protect your rights and freedom as there may be more missteps taken by officials that can lead to improper procedure and unintended consequences. The Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer works as a team of skilled attorneys that are passionate about their clients’ rights and work diligently to defend them to protect those rights. We are here to help you.

Call the Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer today at (360) 334-6277 to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys. Don’t hesitate to protect your rights and freedom.