Gun fears expressed before fatal Everett shooting

EVERETT — A week before Quinton Blatchford was found with a gunshot wound to his head, he reported to police that his wife had guns and he was concerned she may harm herself.

Blatchford told officers that he wasn’t concerned for his own safety and denied that she had pointed the guns at him.

Prosecutors on Friday charged Melissa Blatchford, 30, with first-degree manslaughter in connection with her husband’s death.

She was to be arraigned Monday in Snohomish County Superior Court. The hearing was rescheduled for next week. She is being held on $500,000 bail.

Prosecutors allege that Melissa Blatchford shot her husband in the head Dec. 29 inside the couple’s north Everett apartment. She reportedly told police that she didn’t mean to shoot him. She also told her father during a recorded jailhouse conversation that she was going to kill herself and her husband was trying to stop her, according to charging documents.

A week earlier, when Quinton Blatchford called police, he told officers that his wife hadn’t been taking her medications and she wasn’t acting like herself. Officers came to the couple’s house and attempted to contact Melissa Blatchford by loudspeaker and telephone.

Officers could see her looking at them out the window, but she refused to talk to police. Officers left the home without contacting the woman, prosecutors wrote in court papers.

The slain man’s cousin later told officers that Quinton Blatchford called him earlier the night police showed up and told him that his wife had pointed a gun at him, court papers said. The man advised Quinton Blatchford to call police.

A few days later, Quinton Blatchford reportedly told his family that he and his wife were getting a divorce. He said that she had a boyfriend. Detectives later reported finding a note from the slain man to his wife which indicates that the couple was having marital problems.

On Dec. 29, two of the Blatchfords’ neighbors called 911 reporting a disturbance at the couple’s apartment. They reported hearing a woman screaming. One man said it sounded like a woman was being thrown against a wall.

A couple of minutes later, Melissa Blatchford called 911, reporting that she’d shot her husband, court papers said. She told the dispatcher to send an ambulance and then hung up.

Officers arrived to find the defendant outside, smoking a cigarette. She told the officers she’d shot her husband and she needed an ambulance. She failed to respond to the officers’ initial commands to surrender. She said she wanted to finish her cigarette.

Officers found Quinton Blatchford, 42, inside, lying on his back in the living room. There was a handgun nearby.

He was rushed to the hospital, where he was put on life support. He died Dec. 31.

Melissa Blatchford was taken to the hospital, where she was diagnosed with signs of amphetamine abuse. She was later booked into the jail.

Earlier this month, detectives obtained a warrant to take photographs of the defendant to document any injuries she may have sustained. Officers told her that a neighbor reported hearing her being thrown against a wall. She reportedly told detectives that wasn’t accurate. She said she’d been kicking the wall, court papers said.

Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; hefley@heraldnet.com.

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