Arlington son, 19, charged with slaying his father

Nicholi Melum had been yelling at his son, Garner, when he was killed.

OSO — A 19-year-old has been charged with second-degree murder in the killing of his father near Oso.

The father, Nicholi Melum, had a decades-long history of abuse, his family told police. Prosecutors argue there was no justification for self-defense.

Nicholi Melum, 63, thought his son, Garner Melum, didn’t appreciate him and wanted him to leave the house in the 26700 block of Lake Kiley Road, the mother told police. She said no one was leaving. Garner Melum then went in his room.

Nicholi Melum was yelling at his son and banging on his door after 9 p.m. on Sept. 6, according to charges filed in Snohomish County Superior Court.

His wife heard a loud bang. She went in to break up the altercation.

“My husband is laying on his back and he’s bleeding,” the wife and mother told 911 dispatchers, according to the police report.

Garner Melum took the phone from his mother. Talking to the dispatcher, he sounded calm and emotionless, according to court documents. He told the call taker his father broke down his bedroom door.

In the background, his mother yelled “he threatened him.” Garner Melum repeated that his father threatened him. There was some debris on the home’s wood floor that could be from a damaged jamb, police found.

Garner Melum reported he shot his father in the torso with birdshot from a 12-gauge shotgun.

“He’s gonna need an ambulance,” he told the dispatcher, according to the police report.

When the dispatcher asked how the father was doing, Garner Melum reportedly responded, “He’s (expletive) dead!”

Garner Melum said he put the gun in a locked safe inside the home, according to the charging papers. His mother told police the gun belonged to the family and was kept in Garner Melum’s room.

Inside the room where the shooting occurred, police saw an ammunition pouch and what appeared to be a revolver-style gun tucked into the bed frame, according to court papers. No weapons were found near the the father’s body.

When Snohomish County sheriff’s deputies arrived that night, Garner Melum and his mother walked to the road where he was then taken into custody. Both appeared uninjured. Melum has no history of felony or misdemeanor violations.

The charges carry a sentence of about 15 to 24 years in prison, deputy prosecutor Elise Ann Deschenes wrote in court documents.

Melum remained in the Snohomish County Jail on Friday with bail set at $500,000.

Jake Goldstein-Street: 425-339-3439; jake.goldstein-street@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @GoldsteinStreet.

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