Boysen used shoelace to strangle grandparents, charging papers say
King County prosecutors have charged Michael Chadd Boysen with two counts of aggravated first-degree murder in the March 9 slayings of his grandparents.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Robert and Norma Taylor, who celebrated their 59th wedding anniversary earlier this month, were found together in a bedroom closet inside their Renton-area home, both strangled with a bloody shoelace detectives found partially wrapped around Norma’s neck, according to charges filed Thursday against the Taylors’ 26-year-old grandson.
King County prosecutors charged Michael Chadd Boysen with two counts of aggravated first-degree murder in the March 9 slayings and have asked that he be held without bail.
The only punishments for aggravated first-degree murder are life in prison without the possibility of parole, or the death penalty. Prosecutors typically have 30 days after an arraignment to decide whether to seek the death penalty, but that time limit is often extended so the defense can provide any mitigation evidence that could warrant leniency.
Boysen, who was arrested March 12 after a 10-hour police standoff in an oceanfront motel in Lincoln City, Ore., was transferred from the Multnomah County Jail in Portland to the King County Jail just before 1 p.m. Thursday, jail records show.
Though the state Department of Corrections initially planned to transfer Boysen to the Washington Corrections Center in Shelton, Mason County, officials decided to instead send him directly to the King County Jail to face the charges, said spokesman Chad Lewis.
Boysen will still go through a DOC violation hearing for allegedly failing to report to his community-corrections officer, failing to enter and complete chemical-dependency treatment and leaving the state without permission, according to Lewis.
Boysen was released from the Monroe Correctional Complex on March 8 after serving nine months of a 16-month sentence for a 2012 attempted burglary.
Robert, 82, and Norma Taylor, 80, picked Boysen up from prison that morning, spent the day running errands with him, then hosted a family party celebrating his release, according to the charging papers.
Boysen was to spend the night at the their home, then was to be picked up at noon the next day by his paternal aunt, the papers say.
When his aunt arrived at the house March 9, her knocks went unanswered. She called Boysen’s sister to tell her, and left, charging papers say.
A few hours later, Melanie Taylor — the Taylors’ daughter and Boysen’s adoptive mother — let herself into her parents’ house with a key, the papers say. She noticed her parents’ red 2001 Chrysler 300 was missing, as was her mother’s cellphone, according to the papers, which explain Norma Taylor was deaf and used her phone to communicate through text messages.
“After spending some time in the house waiting,” Melanie Taylor “decided to look around” and saw that the bed in the spare room — where her son was to have spent the night — had not been slept in, charging papers say. Soon after, she found her parents dead in the room’s closet, they say.
She called 911 at 6:16 p.m. and said she suspected her son of killing her parents and stealing their vehicle, the papers say.
According to charging papers, Boysen stole at least $5,200 in cash, sterling-silver silverware and a significant amount of jewelry from the home, including his grandfather’s wedding ring — inscribed with the couple’s wedding date of 03-05-54 — that Taylor’s children later told detectives he “never took off.”
Boysen pawned the jewelry, including the ring, at AC Coins in Kent on March 9, the papers say. That same day, he used Robert Taylor’s credit cards to buy a prepaid cellphone, electronics, a suitcase, several music CDs and other merchandise from a nearby Fred Meyer store and from the Walmart store in Covington, the papers say.
During the hunt for Boysen, two inmates at the Monroe prison told King County sheriff’s Detective Christina Bartlett that Boysen spoke of his plan to kill and rob his maternal grandparents once he was released.
They said he was “angry at his grandparents,” but the charging papers don’t say why.
Prison officials said they were not aware Boysen had made threats against his grandparents until after they were killed.
Boysen paid cash for a motel room in Tukwila on March 9 and checked out the next morning, leaving behind a suitcase full of his clothing, some personal documents and an empty box for an iPad tablet, the papers say.
The next day, March 10, Boysen abandoned the Chrysler 300 in a parking lot in Salem, Ore., purchased a 2002 Taurus with cash from a Salem car dealership, then checked into the WestShore Oceanfront Motel in Lincoln City, according to the papers.
On March 12, a clerk at the motel called 911 to report that Boysen was a guest there, prompting the lengthy standoff with police, the papers say.
During the standoff, Boysen suffered self-inflicted cut wounds and was treated at a hospital before being booked into jail in Portland.
Inside the motel room, detectives found Robert Taylor’s credit cards, jewelry, a box of .22-caliber ammunition, thousands of dollars in cash and an iPad tablet with a serial number matching the empty box found in the Tukwila motel room, the papers say.
Detectives also searched the Taurus and found a newly purchased computer, a tool chest full of jewelry, several wristwatches and two pocket watches, German currency, a Winchester bolt-action rifle and several cans of kerosene and propane, the papers say.
Information from Seattle Times archives is included in this report.
Sara Jean Green: 206-515-5654 or firstname.lastname@example.org