A 21-year-old University of Washington student was charged Wednesday with first-degree murder in connection with the death of a girlfriend, a fellow UW student.
King County prosecutors on Wednesday charged a 21-year-old University of Washington student with first-degree murder in connection with the death of his girlfriend after she was beaten and chokedSunday in her University District apartment.
At the request of prosecutors, a judge also increased bail for Casey Henderson from $1 million to $2 million because he is considered a flight risk, court records show. Henderson’s parents live in South Korea and he had plans to move to Paris with another girlfriend, who lives in South America, charging papers say.
In a recorded phone call from the King County Jail, Henderson also discussed the fact his family has “considerable assets” in Lake Chelan that could potentially be used to post bond, according to the charges.
Prosecutors have also asked that he be required to surrender his passport.
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Killed was 22-year-old Katy Straalsund, also a UW student who had dated Henderson for six months and found out he was secretly dating another woman, charging papers say. Though the couple occasionally argued about Henderson’s other girlfriend, Straalsund apparently viewed her relationship with Henderson as being “somewhat casual,” say the charges.
Straalsund died Tuesday at Harborview Medical Center.
On Sunday afternoon, one of Straalsund’s neighbors heard Henderson yelling and threatening her for 20 minutes before beating and choking her, Senior Deputy Prosecutor Mary Barbosa wrote in charging papers.
“The vicious beating that inflicted catastrophic injuries on this young woman demonstrates the extreme danger the defendant poses,” Barbosa wrote.
Straalsund’s neighbor called 911 around 2 p.m. Sunday and directed officers to the basement unit of an apartment building in the 2200 block of Northeast 50th Street, say the charges. Officers could hear both a male and female voices, along with yells, moans and screams, but when they announced themselves it quieted down, according to charging papers.
One officer went around the building and was able to see through a glass door that Henderson had Straalsund in a chokehold, the charges say. Officers then forced their way into the apartment, pulled Henderson off his girlfriend and started performing CPR on her, charging papers say.
Seattle police say Henderson later told detectives the two had taken LSD, charging papers say. According to police, Henderson told detectives he had punched Straalsund in the face and head and kicked her,yelling at her, “Do you want to live?” the papers say.
Henderson was treated for a broken wrist before being booked into jail, according to charging documents.
Straalsund was a 2012 graduate of River’s Edge High School in Richland, according to the Tri-City Herald.
The newspaper noted that social-media pages for Straalsund depicted a young woman who enjoyed hiking and poetry. Two days before the attack, the Herald said Straalsund posted for the last time to her Facebook page.
“Life is good! It’s all about the journey and experiences that you collect as you go through life … ,” the post read. “Take solace in the fact that things will never be exactly the same as they are now, (whether) that’s in career, health and fitness, relationships, etc.”