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Auburn woman dies; husband charged with murder

An Auburn woman found clinging to life in an upstairs bedroom in her home in the early morning hours of July 27 has died, and King County prosecutors have charged her husband with second-degree murder.

Doctors at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle declared Harjinder Basra, 39, brain dead at 11:31 a.m. on July 30. The King County Medical Examiner performed an autopsy Aug. 3 and determined the cause of death was homicide due to asphyxiation caused by ligature strangulation.

Paramjit Singh Basra, 51, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Monday. He is being held at the Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center. His next court appearance is Aug. 24.

According to charging papers filed in King County Superior Court.

Auburn police arrested Mr. Basra on July 27 after his hysterical daughter called 911 shortly before 7 a.m. to report that her father was killing her mother.

According to charging papers, the girl told the 911 operator that her father, a truck driver, had just returned to the family home in the 29500 block of 125th Avenue Southeast, pushed his hands up against his wife's throat and killed her. The girl said that at one point he had used a rope to try to kill her, his daughter, too, and she had locked herself in a bathroom.

When police arrived at the home, charging papers say, they found the door slightly ajar and Mr. Basra looking out at them. He then closed and locked the door. Police knocked and told him to come out, and he eventually did, according to charging papers.

As police placed handcuffs on Basra, according to the report, he said in broken English, "Ahh … ahh … the problem is, I killed my wife. She's in the room to the right."

Police found Harjinder Basra lying on the floor by the foot of the bed in the upstairs master bedroom, warm, but unconscious and without a pulse. Medics restored a pulse and rushed her to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. A subsequent police search of the Basra home found no signs of a struggle but did turn up a car charger cord lying on the bed.

When police tried to question Mr. Basra, he requested an attorney and the interrogation stopped at that point.

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