A Mount Vernon, Washington, man is charged with premeditated murder after investigators said he decapitated his girlfriend in front of a 3-year-old girl.
Timothy Paul Hernandez, 32, was charged this week with first-degree murder and is being held on $1 million bail.
Mount Vernon police were called to the 1200 block of North 18th Street on Sunday afternoon. Hernandez and his girlfriend lived with his parents, and they called police after finding her about 12:45 p.m.
They told investigators Hernandez and his girlfriend were verbally arguing before going to bed that Saturday night. They left for church sometime between 9:30 and 10 a.m., and when they returned home, they found the woman dead.
Hernandez was located at the Cascade Mall in Burlington with the 3-year-old daughter he shared with the victim, police said.
“Timothy advised that he had spoken with God, who told him to strike down his girlfriend … because she did not repent,” a detective wrote in charging documents. “Timothy stated that he struck her down, and caused for her head to be removed from her body.”
Investigators said Hernandez quoted two Bible verses to them, including a passage from the Book of Revelations.
“Each of the verses that were quoted had passages in them that spoke about women who did not follow God’s word, so God stuck them down.”
Hernandez told investigators he was not crazy,and stated that a crazy person would not tell the truth, investigators said.
Detectives found a large butcher knife in the home’s sink and bloody clothing and used a chemical to illuminate bloody footprints around the body that led into the kitchen to the sink where the knife was located. The victim had multiple stab wounds.
Charging documents also give disturbing details about the 3-year-old observing the crime scene.
Hernandez is scheduled to be arraigned Sept. 6 in Skagit County Superior Court.
In Washington, only an aggravated first-degree murder conviction leads to the death penalty. However, in 2014 Gov. Jay Inslee pledged to halt executions while he’s in office. Inslee was reelected in 2017 to a four-year term.
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