Prosecutors say the woman bound her daughter’s ankles and hands with zip ties before shooting her between the eyes at close range.
The woman accused of killing her 14-year-old daughter in Renton on Tuesday restrained the girl with zip ties before shooting her in the face “at near point-blank range,” prosecutors say in newly filed charging documents.
King County prosecutors charged Svetlana B. Laurel, 52, with first-degree aggravated murder, first-degree attempted murder, first-degree kidnapping and unlawful imprisonment Friday.
If convicted, Laurel will face a prison sentence of life without the possibility of parole, since the Washington Supreme Court ruled the state’s death penalty unconstitutional this year.
In previous court documents, police said Laurel arrived at her ex-husband’s house while he and their daughter were gone, restrained her 12-year-old son and then, when the man and daughter returned home, restrained her ex-husband and shot the daughter as the girl called 911. Police said the 911 operator heard the sound of zip ties before the shooting. Now, they say the girl was found with her ankles and hands bound with zip ties and a gunshot wound between her eyes, according to the charging documents.
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Police believe the girl had been interrupted as she called for help and had put her cellphone, with the line open to 911 dispatch, in her pocket just before her mother restrained and shot her.
According to police and prosecutors, Laurel, who has no criminal history, was separated from her husband and was allowed only supervised visits with the couple’s two children. Tuesday evening, Laurel’s son let her in the home when the father and daughter were away. She restrained him with zip ties and put a sock in his mouth, then removed the sock later but said she’d use a stun gun on him if he made any noise, according to police.
During this time, according to the documents, Laurel also called a friend who lives in New York and spoke to him in Russian. The friend told detectives he received a “strange” call from Laurel, who told him she had amended her will to include him. When the friend told Laurel he would call her back the next day to talk more, she said “I’m not going to be here,” which he took to mean she was suicidal, according to a court document signed by a Renton police officer.
After trying to call Laurel back multiple times, the friend called police about 20 to 30 minutes later and was eventually transferred to the Kent Police Department.
When Laurel’s ex-husband and daughter returned home, Laurel allegedly used a stun gun on her ex-husband and restrained him with zip ties. Police say she told him, “You’ve made my life miserable. Now I’m gonna make yours miserable” and hit him with the gun as he sat restrained at the kitchen table.
After the girl called 911 from her upstairs bedroom, Laurel went upstairs and threatened her and the girl put the phone in her pocket with the line still open. Laurel then restrained her and shot her, police and prosecutors say.
Afterward, Laurel allegedly attempted to shoot her ex-husband but the gun jammed. He lunged at her and took the gun, which police say still had a price tag on it, the documents say.
According to divorce documents filed in King County Superior Court, the couple married in 2001 and separated in 2015; both worked at Boeing. In 2015, Laurel obtained a protective order against her husband, claiming he was mentally abusive, but documents indicate the order was later rescinded. That year, the ex-husband wrote in court documents that he was concerned about Laurel’s “mental stability” and “worried about what [Laurel] intends to do.”
Laurel’s ex-husband bought the house where the shooting happened in July 2017, according to property records. Neighbors described the house as quiet. Police say the couple’s son told them Laurel had only been to the house once before.
Prosecutors requested Laurel be held without bail, saying she “poses an extreme danger to her remaining family members and the community.” Laurel’s arraignment hearing is scheduled for Jan. 3.