Death Penalty Considered in Kitsap Case

Kitsap County Prosecutors confirmed that they’re weighing the possibility of the death penalty against a man charged with murdering his wife and stepson.

Bryan Christopher Matsen, 36, was arraigned Monday in superior court for the murders of Evelyn Tumbaga Matsen, 34, and her son, Wahren Agonoy, 13, at their Woods Place home on Nov. 4, 2005.

I mentioned in today’s story that the last death penalty case in Kitsap was against Brodie Walradt, tried for the murder of 22-year-old Beth Kennard and the manslaughter of her unborn baby in Central Kitsap on Sept. 18, 1999.

The jury decided against the death penalty in that case, splitting 6-6 and thus giving Walradt life imprisonment for the crime.

The last person executed in Washington State was James H. Elledge, 58, on Aug. 28, 2001. He was given the death penalty for the only crime it is eligible to use under the state’s statute: first-degree murder.

Washington has executed 76 people since 1904, according to the Washington Department of Corrections. There are currently eight people on death row in the state.

Lethal injection is the primary means for execution in the state, but death penalty recipients can also elect to be hanged.

Just as it has nationally, the death penalty has been controversial in Washington as a means of punishment. Washington’s death penalty has been suspended twice, once in 1913 — for six years — and once in 1975, for less than a year.

Where do you stand on the death penalty? And if you do believe in it, does state versus Bryan Matsen warrant such a punishment?

One thought on “Death Penalty Considered in Kitsap Case

  1. I don’t know if I believe in the death penalty. I know the victims first hand and after all that has happened I don’t really know where I stand for Matsen’s punishment. I don’t think Matsen facing death penalty will change how we feel about our loses.

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