A Seattle man was charged Tuesday with stabbing his wife to death with a barbecue fork while her two children looked on. Moments after the Friday...
A Seattle man was charged Tuesday with stabbing his wife to death with a barbecue fork while her two children looked on.
Moments after the Friday night attack in South Seattle, the woman’s 6-year-old son ran to his mother’s friend, screaming, “Come and check on mommy. … Daddy stabbed mommy,” according to charging papers filed in King County Superior Court.
The friend ran to Debra Bonilla’s backyard at her home in the 1800 block of South State Street, according to charging papers. She found the woman lying on the ground with a 13-inch barbecue fork beneath her. She called 911, and when police arrived, Bonilla told officers: “I’m going to die.” She told them she was attacked by Juan Carlos Bonilla, the court papers say.
Officers using helicopters and dogs found Bonilla, 33, hiding in a sticker bush a few blocks from his wife’s home a short time later.
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He was charged Tuesday by King County prosecutors with second-degree murder-domestic violence. He is being held in the King County Jail on $1 million bail.
Debra Bonilla, 38, was stabbed at least a dozen times, and with enough force that the large fork was bent nearly in a circle, charging papers say. She was taken to Harborview Medical Center, where she died later that night.
Meri Haydon-Toney, who was living with Debra Bonilla at the time of her death, said fights between her friend and Juan Bonilla were common.
Haydon-Toney said she had dinner with the victim the night of the stabbing. Afterward, the two, who had met at a substance-abuse treatment center, smoked and Debra Bonilla vented “a little about her husband.”
Debra Bonilla told her friend she was worried the protection order she had against her husband was unenforceable because he “would always come back and force his way into the house,” Hadon-Toney said in an interview with detectives.
According to charging papers, Juan Bonilla has a long history of assaulting his wife.
He was convicted in Alaska in 2001 and Minnesota in 2003 of charges stemming from domestic-violence arrests. In 2004, he was charged with violating a protection order.
By March of last year, the couple had moved to the Seattle area and Debra Bonilla again sought a protection order, saying her husband had assaulted and threatened her, according to court documents.
She later petitioned to have the protection order terminated but failed to show up at the hearing.
Juan Bonilla was convicted in Seattle Municipal Court last year of assaulting his wife, but it wasn’t clear whether that stemmed from the March incident. The court issued a no-contact order to protect Debra Bonilla and her children.
Juan Bonilla is on probation for that conviction, and was due at a court hearing April 25 to deal with another alleged domestic-violence incident from Feb. 25.
In the charging papers, King County prosecutors say Juan Bonilla “shows no regard for court orders or jurisdiction.”