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A 54-year-old Yakima man with a lengthy prison record was charged Tuesday with second-degree murder in connection with the September 2011 death of a chronic alcoholic who was initially thought to have died from acute intoxication, according to King County prosecutors.

Seattle police say Casey Richards Quinn walked into the department’s North Precinct on Saturday night and said he had strangled Dennis Forhan in an Aurora Avenue North motel room Sept. 19, 2011, according to charging documents. Quinn, who is facing his third strike if convicted, is being held in the King County Jail in lieu of $1 million.

Forhan’s body was found by a motel clerk a day after his death. Forhan, 61, had a blood alcohol content of 0.32 percent, four times the legal limit of 0.08 percent, the papers say. His death was initially ruled an accident by the King County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Medical Examiner Dr. Richard Haruff observed Quinn’s interview with Seattle homicide detectives, in which Quinn acted out the strangulation, and concluded it “could kill someone without leaving any major injury,” the papers say.

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Quinn, who “described himself as a hermaphrodite,” with both male and female genitals, said he turned on Forhan after his longtime friend propositioned him for sex, according to charging papers.

Quinn, who told detectives he has long struggled with his androgyny, felt betrayed by Forhan, whom Quinn had known since he was 14, the papers say.

Quinn “confessed without emotion or remorse,” King County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Kristin Richardson wrote in charging papers.

According to the papers, Quinn, an eight-time felon, went to police
to give Forhan some peace and because he had lost his medication and belongings, “had nowhere to go, and just wanted to go back to jail,” the papers say.

Sara Jean Green: 206-515-5654 or sgreen@seattletimes.comm

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