By Diana Hefley Herald Writer
EVERETT — Rachael Kamin’s friends sat together Monday in a Snohomish County courtroom, getting a look at the man accused of killing the Everett nurse.
One of the women held a large picture of the Mukilteo mother, who suffered fatal head injuries May 12 when her car was broadsided by a convicted felon trying to outrun police in north Everett.
Defendant Joseph Strange made a quick court appearance Monday via video from the county jail. He pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder. A July trial date was set. Superior Court Judge Millie Judge kept bail at $2 million.
Prosecutors on Friday charged Strange, 33, with first-degree murder under the theory that he caused Kamin’s death “under circumstances manifesting an extreme indifference to human life.”
He faces up to 45 years in prison if convicted. He has a lengthy criminal history and was just released from prison in October for car theft and drug convictions. A month before the fatal crash, he was convicted of driving with a revoked license and resisting arrest, court records said. He was under the supervision of the state Department of Corrections.
On Mother’s Day, Strange is accused of leading Bothell police on a 10-mile chase from Lynnwood to Everett. Prosecutors allege that before he crashed into Kamin, he hit another car in a parking lot, rammed a police cruiser and nearly struck a pedestrian crossing Evergreen Way.
Police reported that Strange was driving about 90 mph in a stolen pickup truck as he tried to elude police.
He first came to the attention of police around 11:20 p.m in a south Snohomish County parking lot. A Bothell officer attempted to stop a pickup truck after he learned that the license plates on the truck were stolen.
Strange reportedly was behind the wheel and failed to stop. A Bothell police sergeant called off the pursuit after about two minutes, noting that the only information officers had at the time was that the license plates on the pickup were stolen.
Bothell police, however, followed Strange off the freeway as he exited at 164th Street SW in the Lynnwood-area. Strange pulled into a gas station. A few moments later an officer reported the pickup hitting a car. Then he announced that the suspect had backed the truck into his patrol car.
Strange headed north on the freeway with the Bothell officer in pursuit. He exited at the Boeing Freeway and then headed north on Evergreen Way. He reportedly ran red lights, nearly plowing into a pedestrian at 75th Street SE.
Kamin was headed home from her shift at Providence Regional Medical Center.
Strange reportedly was driving about 90 mph on Rucker Avenue when he ran the light and smashed into Kamin’s Honda CRV at Pacific Avenue. The impact sent both vehicles into the air.
Kamin, 40, died two days later at a Seattle hospital.
She is survived by her husband and two teenage boys.
Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; firstname.lastname@example.org.