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Apparent Murder Of Patient First At Western State In Almost 20 Years

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.

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Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network

Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy as well as the Washington State legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia." Prior to joining the Northwest News Network, Austin worked as a television reporter in Seattle, Portland and Boise. Austin is a graduate of Garfield High School in Seattle and Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut. Austin’s reporting has been recognized with awards from the Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors, Public Radio News Directors Incorporated and the Society of Professional Journalists.