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Originally published August 13, 2011 at 5:53 PM | Page modified August 13, 2011 at 9:53 PM

Physician suspected of 'horrific' slayings of partner, toddler son

Dr. Louis C. Chen, the physician found bloody and semiconscious in a First Hill apartment on Thursday, has been ordered held in connection with the slayings of his partner and their toddler son.

Seattle Times staff reporter

A physician found bloody and semiconscious in a First Hill apartment on Thursday has been ordered held in connection with the slayings of his partner and their toddler son.

A King County District Court judge on Saturday determined there was probable cause to hold Dr. Louis C. Chen in custody on investigation of two counts of aggravated murder in the double homicide. Chen remained hospitalized Saturday at Harborview Medical Center.

Dan Donohoe, spokesman for the King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, said the judge made the ruling by telephone after reviewing an emailed copy of the document of probable cause prepared by police and prosecutors. A document of probable cause outlines the law-enforcement case against the accused.

Donohoe said the document of probable cause will be released on Monday.

The deadline for filing charges against Chen is Tuesday, Donohoe said.

Chen, 39, who was scheduled to begin work this week as an endocrinologist at Virginia Mason Medical Center, was found bloody and semiconscious in his apartment on Seattle's First Hill Thursday morning.

A hospital representative who had gone to Chen's apartment found two men in the living room. Law-enforcement sources identified the dead as Chen's partner, Eric A. Cooper, 29, and the couple's nearly 3-year-old son.

Sources said the toddler's body was in the bathroom. All three appeared to have suffered knife wounds, according to a source.

Police described the scene inside the penthouse apartment as "horrific."

On Friday, Chen was listed in serious condition at Harborview, where he was under police guard. His condition was not available on Saturday, but police earlier had said that his injuries were not considered life-threatening.

Chen, a 2000 graduate of the University of Chicago's Pritzker School of Medicine, had completed a three-year residency at Duke University in the spring.

Property records show that Chen and Cooper shared an address in North Carolina and had moved into the First Hill apartment together in July. Public records additionally show that Cooper had returned to North Carolina at some point.

Although details about the child were scarce, one source familiar with the case said he had been adopted "out of some pretty bad circumstances" in Southeast Asia.

Another source said Chen's family had flown in from Taiwan and had obtained counsel for him.

When reached by phone on Saturday, one of Chen's attorneys, Raymond McFarland, declined to comment on the case.

Christine Clarridge: 206-464-8983 or cclarridge@seattletimes.com.

Information from The Seattle Times archives is included in this report.

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