Detectives suspect that Renee Bishop-McKean stockpiled a selection of crime scene clean-up supplies before her husband was ambushed while he slept. Police discovered plastic sheeting, eight large roasting pans and gallons of bleach in the home. Someone also had laid sheets over the back seat and cargo area of the family's Jeep Cherokee.
The defendant's husband awoke in October to the sound of a Sawzall. He said he saw his wife standing over him with the electric saw in her hands.
He pushed her away and jumped out of bed. That's when the defendant reportedly swung a hatchet at her husband, opening up a gash on his back that required stitches to close. The man also was hit in the back of the head with a mallet as he tried to escape.
Bishop-McKean reportedly first told police that she wrestled the Sawzall away from an intruder who was cutting on her husband's neck. She allegedly admitted that she struck her husband with the hatchet, but only after he saw her with the electric saw and attacked her.
Police say the woman's story grew murky, including her claim that the intruder jumped out a window that couldn't be opened wide enough to accommodate a grown man.
Prosecutors initially charged Bishop-McKean with first-degree assault. Late last week, they added the charge of attempted first-degree murder with a deadly weapon. They allege that the woman was planning to kill her husband.
Bishop-McKean, 44, pleaded not guilty Friday during a short court appearance. She remained in the Snohomish County Jail. Trial is scheduled for next month.
Her husband has filed for divorce, but Bishop-McKean is fighting the petition from behind bars.
The couple has been married since 2002, but had separated after Bishop-McKean made allegations that her husband was feeding one of their children antifreeze. Doctors couldn't confirm the claims through blood tests or a physical exam. They reported that the child was in good health and ruled out antifreeze poisoning, court papers said.
Social workers became involved with the family and raised questions about the mother's mental stability, Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Paul Stern wrote. Both children were temporarily removed from the home and it was during that time that Bishop-McKean's husband moved out.
He told investigators that his wife invited him back to the house in mid-October. The attack happened his first night home. He told investigators that when he went to bed he heard a crunchy sound under the sheets. His wife told him that she'd added an extra blanket to make the bed more comfortable.
Police later determined that there was a layer of black plastic under the sheets. They also found eight big aluminum roasting pans under the sink, along with large garbage bags. There were several gallons of bleach on top of the refrigerator and several towels scattered over the floor, court papers said. The husband told police it was unusual to have so many extra supplies in the house.
Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; firstname.lastname@example.org.
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