Edmonds murder trial to begin Feb. 24Innocent plea by defendent
The trial for an Edmonds man who allegedly killed his female roommate is scheduled to begin Feb. 24 at Snohomish County Superior Court in Everett.
Judge Linda Krese will hear the case.
David Lawrence Hoar, 62, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder. Hoar was charged Dec. 21, two days after he called 911 to report that his roommate, 45-year-old old Samantha Ellis, was dead.
A judge on Dec. 22 ordered him held on $1 million bail at Snohomish County Jail.
Police were already familiar with Hoar. According to a probable cause statement filed by Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Michael Boska, police responded to calls from Hoar’s residence at the Park Edmonds apartments on 236th Street SW three times in a two-week period the month before the alleged murder.
On Nov. 12, Edmonds police responded to Hoar’s studio apartment after a day-long argument between Hoar and Ellis. Ellis told Officer Brad Paulson the argument started when Hoar wanted “to be intimate with her.”
On Nov. 18 and Nov. 25, medical aid personnel responded to the apartment based on Ellis’ medical issues, which included anxiety, panic attacks, shortness of breath and potential abuse of prescription medication mixed with alcohol.
It was on Dec. 19 that police responded to Hoar’s 911 call.
Fire personnel and investigators found Ellis in the living area, sitting prone on her lower legs, with her face on the floor. Dried blood covered her face and feet. In addition, investigators found blood on the carpet, kitchen floor, bed, several walls, the bathroom floor and sink, and refrigerator door.
Hoar cooperated with the initial investigation, said Edmonds PD Sgt. Josh McClure. The suspect was described as drunk, and told police he and the woman had been fighting over chores. He later told police he drank an average of a fifth of vodka daily.
Hoar said Ellis had not been breathing for three days, but he didn’t call 911 because he thought she might wake up. He said he thought she may have hit her head or overdosed.
A neighbor, meanwhile, told investigators that she heard two loud thumps on Dec. 14 or Dec. 15 and all was quiet after that, with no activity in the apartment and the lights turned off.
On Dec. 21, Snohomish County Medical Examiner Daniel Selove conducted an autopsy on Ellis, as is procedure in unexpected death cases. He notified Edmonds detectives that the autopsy determined that Ellis suffered several “stomping” blows to the head not consistent with a natural or accidental death.
She also had injuries to her nose and upper cheekbones, which caused skin tissue to fall from her skull.
Police returned to Hoar’s apartment that evening and took him into custody. He was still wearing the clothes, with blood on them, from two days’ earlier. He admitted that he and Ellis had been fighting Dec. 15, but said: “I’m a mellow person. Women can drive men crazy and um, anyway, it just escalated from me doing chores here and there and everywhere, that ah, I don’t know, I just lost it.”
Hoar had previously been convicted of domestic abuse and violation of a court order in 2009, records show. He was also convicted of two drunken-driving violations in King County, in 1997 and 1986.