Bothell man civilly committed in case of father’s killing

A Superior Court judge ruled Gavin Wollman was not able to aid in his defense. He had been accused of murder.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Bothell in Snohomish and King counties, Washington. 220118

BOTHELL — A Snohomish County Superior Court judge last week dismissed the murder case against a man accused of beating his father to death, ruling he was unable to aid in his defense.

Judge Cindy Larsen dismissed Gavin Wollman’s charge of second-degree murder following an agreed recommendation by the deputy prosecutor and his defense attorney. Doctors at Western State Hospital had determined he was incompetent to stand trial. He will be civilly committed while it’s determined whether he is still a danger to himself or others, according to the prosecutor’s office.

Prosecutors could refile the charges later if the defendant is found to be mentally competent to stand trial.

In June 2022, Wollman, 36, called 911 from his parents’ house. He reported his father had been trying to kick him out of the house and assaulted him, and that he hit his father with headphones, according to court documents.

Bothell police went to Wollman’s home in the 3000 block of 211th Street SE, looked through the front door and saw a man sitting in a recliner with an apparent head injury, court papers say.

Wollman’s father, Robert, was pronounced dead at the scene. He was 72.

Police arrested Wollman on a nearby street corner.

At the Bothell Police Department, Wollman reported to police that his father had been emotionally abusive to him his entire life, according to court papers. Wollman said that night he had been at a local bar, had a couple beers and “did not socialize with anyone.” He reportedly told police that when he got home, he grabbed a baseball bat and hit his father. He said he did not know how many times he hit him.

The next morning, Wollman went downstairs and saw his father motionless, according to his statement to police. He reported he ran outside and went to his neighbor’s house to call an ambulance.

Since his father’s death, Wollman has had three competency hearings to determine whether he was mentally fit to stand trial.

Earlier last month, doctors at Western State Hospital determined Wollman has the capacity to understand the nature of his charges, but is unable to aid in his defense.

According to the medical report, there is not a “reasonable likelihood” further competency restoration would relieve his symptoms. Wollman appeared to meet the criteria for “Autism Spectrum Disorder, Unspecified Schizophrenia Spectrum and Other Psychotic Disorder.”

Wollman had a history of being involuntarily detained because he was a danger to others, the report said. In February 2015, he was hospitalized after becoming increasingly violent at home, eventually choking his mother when she asked him to clean.

According to past testimony from his adoptive father, Wollman exhibited unusual behavior as early as 3 years old. Medical staff at the hospital noted he “appeared to perceive any negative encounters as bullying” and responded to internal stimuli in an aggressive way.

Jonathan Tall: 425-339-3486;; Twitter: @EDHJonTall.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

Kim Skarda points at her home on a map on Thursday, June 20, 2024 in Concrete, Washington. A community called Sauk River Estates has a very steep slope above it. There is a DNR-approved timber sale that boarders the estate properties, yet they were not consulted about the sale before approval. The community has already appealed the sale and has hired their own geologist to conduct a slope stability report at the site. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Beneath steep slope, Concrete neighbors fear landslides from logging above

Nielsen Brothers plans to cut 54 acres of timber directly behind the community of 83 homes. Locals said they were never consulted.

Law enforcement respond to a person hit by a train near the Port of Everett Mount Baker Terminal on Thursday, June 27, 2024 in Mukilteo, Washington. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
2 killed in waterfront train crashes were near Mukilteo ‘quiet zone’

In June, two people were hit by trains on separate days near Mukilteo Boulevard. “These situations are incredibly tragic,” Everett’s mayor said.

Rob Plotnikoff takes a measurement as a part of the county's State of Our Waters survey at Tambark Creek in Bothell, Washington on Monday, July 1, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Snohomish County stream team bushwhacks a path to healthier waterways

This summer, the crew of three will survey 40 sites for the State of Our Waters program. It’s science in locals’ backyards.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Mountlake Terrace in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
4th suspect arrested after Mountlake Terrace home robbery

Police arrested Taievion Rogers, 19, on Tuesday. Prosecutors charged his three alleged accomplices in April.

A 10 acre parcel off of Highway 99, between 240th and 242nd Street Southwest that the city of Edmonds is currently in the process of acquiring on Monday, July 10, 2023 in Edmonds, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Edmonds ditches $37M Landmark public park project off Highway 99

The previous mayor envisioned parks and more in south Edmonds, in a historically neglected area. The new administration is battling budget woes.

Edmonds school official sworn in as Mount Vernon supe

Victor Vergara took his oath of office last week. He was assistant superintendent of equity and student success in Edmonds.

FILE — President Joe Biden arrives for a Medal of Honor ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, July 3, 2024. Biden abandoned his campaign for a second term under intense pressure from fellow Democrats on Sunday, July 21, upending the race for the White House in a dramatic last-minute bid to find a new candidate who can stop former President Donald Trump from returning to the White House. (Doug Mills/The New York Times)
Biden drops out of race, endorses vice president Kamala Harris

The president announced the decision on social media Sunday.

Granite Falls ‘10-foot alligator’ is actually a tegu named ‘Tazz’

Anybody who spots the docile lizard, last seen near Granite Falls, is asked to notify 911, so Tazz can be reunited with owner.

Photos by Olivia Vanni / The Herald
Gabby Bullock sits on her bed in a room she shares with another housemate on June 14 in Everett.
‘We don’t have openings’: SnoCo recovery houses struggle with demand

Advocates say the homes are critical for addiction recovery. But home prices make starting a sober living house difficult.

Melinda Grenier serves patrons at her coffee truck called Hay Girl Coffee during the third annual Arlington Pride event in Arlington, Washington on Sunday, June 2, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Food safety team defends its work: it’s a ‘high pressure, thankless’ job

Management tried to set the record straight about long permit delays in Snohomish County.

Providence Regional Medical Center Everett. (Olivia Vanni/The Herald)
Global tech outage leaves a mark on Snohomish County

The CrowdStrike software update hit some systems at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett and briefly disrupted 911 operations.

Performers joust during the Washington Midsummer Renaissance Faire at Sky Meadows Park in Snohomish, Washington, on Sunday, Aug. 06, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Royalty and revelry: The spirit of the Renaissance comes to Monroe

The annual Renaissance fair will open its doors every weekend from July 20 to Aug. 18

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.