Charge: Son who killed dad didn’t believe he was mentally ill

Edmonds man John Fry, 24, was charged with murder for the stabbing death of his father, Stephen Fry.

EDMONDS — In a five-hour interview with Edmonds police, a man diagnosed with schizophrenia told detectives he didn’t believe he was truly mentally ill, according to new first-degree murder charges filed against him.

John Fry claimed his father had abused him, but he later told police that was false, according to the charges. However, he continued to insist that’s why he stabbed his father, Stephen Fry, to death at a home in the 18700 block of 84th Avenue W, according to his statements.

He showed up to the Edmonds Police Department around 2:40 a.m. Nov. 21, wearing a brown leather jacket, red pants and a black backpack. In the preceding hours, he searched Google for the terms, “definition of treason,” “justifiable homicide,” and “excusable homicide,” according to the charges. And by then, he’d already decided he wanted to kill Stephen Fry, prosecutors allege.

In gory detail he recounted the attack on his father. He reported he’d been triggered by the smell of his clothes. He beat him with his fists, fought with him and ultimately stabbed him to death with a utility knife, court papers say. Then he placed a knife in his father’s hand and put a robe over his body. The son, 24, washed up, changed his clothes and locked the door to the home, court papers say.

John Fry told police where they could find the body, in an upstairs bedroom. He left his clothes and a note in the sink, he reported. Officers responded to the home 2½ miles away. They found the deceased man as described, the bloody clothes on the kitchen floor and a brief note on the counter.

“I am John Henry Fry unarmed and content,” it began.

The son reported he thought about burning down the house, but reconsidered as he didn’t want to harm the neighbors.

John Fry had no criminal record. He told police he’d stopped smoking marijuana and drinking alcohol at least five days before the stabbing, and that he’d hadn’t been taking any medications for a couple of years.

A competency hearing has been set for Dec. 30. Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Janice Ellis set bail last week at $1 million.

Stephen Fry, a father of three, was a longtime inspector for the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, with passions for geology, the environment and mountains, according to an obituary. He was 64.

“Steve is remembered by his family and friends for his happy personality and strong desire for peace within his family and for the world,” reads the obituary. “He could find joy in almost any situation and was loving and caring to all.”

Caleb Hutton: 425-339-3454; chutton@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @snocaleb.

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