Michael Chadd Boysen, the 26-year-old felon accused of killing his grandparents hours after he was released from prison March 8, plotted the slayings from behind bars, according to two law-enforcement sources.
A day after Robert and Norma Taylor were strangled in their Renton-area home, detectives learned that Boysen had been talking about robbing and killing the couple while he was in the prison, the law-enforcement sources said.
Boysen told others at the prison that he was angry at his maternal grandparents and wanted them dead, said the two law-enforcement sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. He apparently wanted to steal cash and their car, the sources said.
Chad Lewis, spokesman for the state Department of Corrections (DOC), confirmed that “sources” inside the prison told investigators about the threats Boysen made against his grandparents. He declined to say whether the sources were inmates or staff at the prison.
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The reason Boysen was angry at his elderly grandparents is unclear, the sources said. Melanie Taylor, Boysen’s mother and daughter of the slain couple, has said that her parents adored Boysen despite his troubled history, which included two stints in prison.
The bodies of Robert, 82, and Norma Taylor, 80, were found inside their home by Melanie Taylor on March 9. The couple were strangled, according to the King County Medical Examiner’s Office.
The slayings sparked a manhunt that ended March 12, when Boysen was arrested at a Lincoln City, Ore., motel after a nearly 10-hour standoff with police.
During the search for Boysen, law-enforcement officials said he had made threats against law-enforcement officials and relatives while behind bars, but he didn’t specify which relatives. Investigators also determined Boysen had been searching the Internet for gun shows.
Lewis said DOC staff members contacted the King County Sheriff’s Office after learning of the slayings and being alerted to the threats. He said prison officials were not aware that Boysen had threatened his grandparents until after they were killed.
The law-enforcement sources said Wednesday that one of the possible motives being pursued is that Boysen strangled his grandparents so he could steal from them. After the couple were found dead, numerous items were found missing from their home.
Many of the items were pawned at AC Coins, a Kent pawnshop, according to the sources.
An employee at the pawnshop declined to comment Wednesday.
The Taylors picked Boysen up at the Monroe Correctional Complex on March 8 after he served nine months of a 16-month sentence for a 2012 attempted residential-burglary conviction. The couple then took Boysen to check in with his probation officer and to get an identification card.
They brought him home and hosted a welcome-back party attended by numerous relatives. Family members told police that Boysen appeared to be in good spirits that night.
Boysen is not fighting extradition to Washington. He now is being held in the Multnomah County Jail in Portland on a fugitive warrant, but he is expected to arrive at the Washington Corrections Center in Shelton, Mason County, by Friday, said Lewis, the DOC spokesman.
A hearing will be held at the Shelton prison to determine how much time he will spend in prison for violating the terms of his probation.
After the slayings, DOC Secretary Bernie Warner issued an arrest warrant for Boysen because he had failed to report for substance-abuse treatment required under his release from prison.
It’s unclear when King County prosecutors plan to charge Boysen.
Dan Donohoe, spokesman for King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg, declined to say whether they are considering charging him with aggravated murder, which can yield two possible sentences — life without parole or the death penalty.
Jennifer Sullivan: 206-464-8294 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @SeattleSullivan.
Information from Seattle Times archives is included in this report.