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Originally published September 6, 2008 at 12:00 AM | Page modified September 6, 2008 at 4:03 PM

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Skagit County murder spree suspect: "I kill for God"

The man accused of killing six people during a shooting rampage Tuesday was charged Friday with six counts of first-degree murder and four counts of first-degree assault with a firearm or deadly weapon in Skagit County District Court.

Seattle Times staff reporter

Memorial service

A service for slain Skagit County sheriff's Deputy Anne Jackson will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday at Burlington-Edison High School, 301 N. Burlington Blvd., Burlington. For more information, visit the Skagit County Web site, www.skagitcounty.net, or call 360-419-7611.

MOUNT VERNON — Isaac Zamora, the man accused of killing six people during a shooting rampage earlier this week in Skagit County, told a judge Friday afternoon, "I kill for God. I listen to God."

Zamora, 28, was charged with six counts of first-degree murder and four counts of first-degree assault with a firearm or deadly weapon in Skagit County District Court. He was ordered held in lieu of $5 million bail.

District Court Judge Warren Gilbert read each charge and possible penalties, which include up to life in prison.

At the end of his arraignment, Zamora was presented with court documents and was asked to sign them to acknowledge he had been charged.

"I'll sign," Zamora told Gilbert. Then he said, "I kill for God. I listen to God."

It was the first time Zamora has spoken during two court appearances; the first was Wednesday when he was ordered held for the slayings of six people, including Skagit County sheriff's Deputy Anne Jackson.

Charges were filed in District Court, which defense and prosecutors said will give them 30 more days to continue developing the case before moving to Superior Court, where Zamora will be prosecuted.

Skagit County Prosecuting Attorney Richard Weyrich said he expects the charges will be refiled in Skagit County Superior Court before the 30 days expire. In addition, the district court agreed to seal for 10 days a statement of probable cause prepared by a police detective that describes the crimes.

According to a motion signed by Senior Deputy Prosecutor Erik Pedersen, "delay in the release of extensive information regarding the multiple scenes is necessary for the effectiveness of an ongoing investigation and to maintain the privacy of individuals involved in the investigation."

A complaint filed against Zamora that was made public, however, suggested for the first time that motives such as robbery, rape, burglary, arson and kidnapping may have been part of the crime. It also indicates the slaying of one victim, neighbor Julie Binschus, 48, may have been premeditated.

In the two murder counts involving the slayings of Jackson and Chester Rose, prosecutors allege Zamora "did commit or attempt to commit the crime of either (1) robbery in the first or second degree, (2) rape in the first or second degree, (3) burglary in the first degree, (4) arson in the first or second degree, or (5) kidnapping in the first or second degree." The bodies of both victims were found in Rose's home.

Weyrich declined to elaborate on any of the circumstances of the deaths or to explain the language used in the filings.

Zamora is accused of killing five people, including Jackson, and injuring two others in several homes in his Alger neighborhood on Tuesday. He also is accused of killing another man and wounding two other people, including a State Patrol trooper, as he drove from Alger to Mount Vernon, where he was taken into custody.

The Skagit County Coroner's Office has identified those slain as Jackson, 40; Rose, 58, of Alger; David Radcliffe, 57, of Clear Lake, Skagit County; Greg Gillum, 38, of Mount Vernon; Binschus, 48, of Alger; and LeRoy Lange, 64, of Methow, Okanogan County.

Neighbors and others who know Zamora say he had exhibited increasing signs of serious mental illness, ranging from suicide attempts to auditory hallucinations, from smashed windshields to outright threats.

He racked up dozens of arrests on criminal charges. While none of those were for particularly violent offenses, they were enough for him to draw extra scrutiny from the state Department of Corrections, which supervised him in the community under a special program for offenders with mental illness.

He was released last month from jail after a drug offense and was under Department of Corrections supervision, according to a department spokesman.

Dennise Zamora, the suspect's mother, said her son was "extremely mentally ill" and had been living in the woods on and off for years.

Recounting the events before the rampage, Dennise Zamora said her son had been entering the homes of neighbors in Alger throughout much of Tuesday. She said that when Rose called to say that he was inside his home, Dennise Zamora told him to call police.

Jackson responded to the Zamora home at 2:50 p.m. Dennise Zamora sent the deputy up to Rose's house.

Fellow deputies, becoming concerned when Jackson hadn't checked in more than an hour later, showed up at the scene and found Jackson and Rose dead at Rose's house.

Investigators subsequently found construction workers Radcliffe and Gillum had been killed at another house, and Binschus had been killed at her home, with other victims wounded in the same area and Lange killed south of Alger on I-5 as he drove toward Mount Vernon.

Zamora's next court hearing is scheduled for Oct. 3.

Peyton Whitely: 206-464-2259 or pwhitely@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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