Prosecutor charges Auburn man, 24, with the death of his stepfather

The King County Prosecutor has charged an Auburn man with second-degree murder for the death of his 68-year-old stepfather.

Matthew Michaud, 24, is in King County Jail on $1 million bail for allegedly pushing Danny Olinger down a flight of stairs, causing massive internal injuries that later killed the older man.

Here is what happened, according to the Auburn Police Department’s Certification for Determination of Probable Cause.

At about 6:30 p.m. on April 28, Michaud’s mother called 911 to report that her son had just been in a fight with her husband, Danny Olinger, and that he had pushed the older man down the stairs, seriously injuring him.

According to the CDPC, when an Auburn Police Officer arrived at the scene in the 120000 block of the city. Michaud, violently enraged, ran up to the patrol vehicle and began banging on the driver’s side window. According to the CDPC, the officer saw strands of human hair in Michaud’s mouth, which subsequent investigation determined to have been his mother’s hair.

The officer had to drive away from Michaud momentarily, and when he got out of his vehicle, Michaud charged, and the officer stopped him with his Taser, according to the CDPC. After the officer placed Michaud in handcuffs, according to the CDPC, Michaud said he, “was sorry and didn’t mean it.”

According to the CDPC, officers in the house who were helping Olinger found him unconscious and bleeding from the head, saw a large pool of blood at the bottom of the stairs, the front screen door broken from its frame and blood spatter just outside the door frame.

King County Medic 6 transported Olinger to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, where staff determined that he had sustained a broken collar bone and severe head trauma with a brain bleed, all consistent with trauma from a fall.

At 2:25 a.m. April 29, Olinger died from his injuries.

As Michaud’s mother told detectives, earlier on April 28, her son had been upset for an unknown reason and was agitated, so she took him aside into his bedroom and tried to calm him by talking to him, a technique that had worked in the past, according to the CDPC. But two hours of this effort only seemed to further inflame Michaud, and so, sensing he was about to assault her, his mother tried to flee, but he cut her off and began punching her on the head. She called out for Olinger to come help her, as she thought her son was going to kill her, according to the CDPC.

As Michaud’s mother told detectives. Michaud quickly started down the stairs towards Olinger, and it appeared to her that her husband was trying to put her son in a bear hug, which had worked in the past.

“But when he did. … Matthew grabbed Danny’s face, pushing him backward,” according to the CDPC. “The two struggled for a moment on the stairs. She then saw Danny falling backward down the stairs onto the tiled foyer landing with Matthew on top of him … Matthew got up, kicked Danny in the stomach area.”

While she tried to help her husband, according to the CDPC, Michaud was too violent toward her, so she ran outside to call 911.

Although Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Adrienne McCoy had asked for $500,000 bail at Michaud’s first appearance in court, during a later appearance she told the court that what she had since learned about Michaud’s prior violence toward his mother compelled her to increase the ask to $1 million.

“The defendant has a long and significant history of mental health treatment and a history of violence and threats of violence toward his mother. His mother has sought help numerous times for the defendant’s violence against her. She has tried her best to manage the situation, but the defendant has demonstrated (he) is a mortal danger to others. In order to protect his mother and the community, this amount of bail is necessary,” McCoy told the court.

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