Prosecutors increase charge against accused murderer to first degree
By ROBERT WHALE
Auburn Reporter News reporter
November 16, 2012 · Updated 10:47 AM
Charges have been increased from second- to first degree-murder for Scottye Miller, who is accused in the fatal stabbing of his ex-girlfriend, Tricia Patricelli, Oct. 30 in Auburn.
Miller, 30, was arraigned Nov. 15 and pleaded not guilty to the amended charge. He remains in jail with bail set at $1 million. A case setting hearing is scheduled for December 13 at the Maleng Regional Justice Center.
The King County Prosecutor's office had earlier charged Miller with second-degree murder for the stabbing death of Tricia Patricelli, 33.
Prosecutors allege Milller stabbed Patricelli more than 20 times in her home then fled.
According to information gleaned from the bail request, Miller had just been released from prison two weeks before the murder after serving a sentence for assaulting and threatening to kill Patricelli.
According to the Auburn Police Department's statement of probable cause, at about 8:30 a.m. a downstairs neighbor heard a woman screaming in Patricelli's apartment. Shortly after that, another neighbor looked outside and saw a man, later identified as Miller, come down the stairs from Patricelli's apartment, throw items over a fence then jump the fence and run east.
The neighbor then saw another man, Patricelli's current boyfriend, who had discovered her body, walk down the stairs and stand outside, talking on a cell phone. The man with the cell phone, who was talking to Patricelli's mother, asked another neighbor to call police.
Police later found Patricelli dead in her bathroom with numerous stab wounds.
At about 10:10 a.m., patrol officers saw a man with blood on his clothing who matched the description of Miller and arrested him at the nearby Top Food & Drug on Auburn Way North.
During the subsequent interview, according to the police statement, Miller told detectives that he had been involved in a romantic, dating relationship with Patricelli for about four years and that the two had previously lived together. At first, he denied stabbing Patricelli, though he admitted to having sent her numerous texts threatening to beat and kill her. He claimed he had found her dead, but according to the police statement finally admitted that he had gone to Patricelli's apartment and argued with her. According to the police statement, Miller told detectives that he had "snapped", put on a pair of gloves, armed himself with two knives and stabbed her to death in her bathroom.
The King County Medical Examiner estimated that Patricelli had been stabbed at least 22 times in her neck, face, torso and back.
Police detectives later examined the area on the opposite side of the fence over which the neighbor had spotted the fleeing Miller throwing things and found there Patricelli's cell phone, two bloody knives and a pair of blood-soaked gloves, according to the police statement.
Miller has more than 15 convictions for domestic violence related offenses dating back to 2002, involving Patricelli and other victims, including convictions for felony harassment, fourth-degree assault, six court order violations, third-degree assault, tampering with a witness and telephone harassment.
According to the bail request, when Patricelli called 911 in January 2012, she urged police to "please hurry, he is going to kill me," adding that at that moment Miller was chasing her in the parking lot and warning her he would kill her if she called police. When police arrived that January day, she told officers over and over, "you don't know who you are dealing with; he is going to kill me!" In January 2009, according to the bail request, Miller forced his way into her apartment and assaulted her in the presence of her children.
Banner Bank has set up a fund for the two daughters of Tricia Patricelli, whose life ended tragically last week in Auburn. To contribute, locate a Banner Bank and tell a bank official you wish to make a deposit for Tricia Patricelli. Patricelli was the client advocate for New Connections of South King County in Kent.
Contact Auburn Reporter News reporter Robert Whale at firstname.lastname@example.org or 253-833-0218, ext. 5052.