Charges: Argument over a wheelbarrow led to machete murder

Mark Abrahamson Jr., 31, of Arlington Heights, killed roommate Scotty Sass, 51, according to new charges.

ARLINGTON — An Arlington-area man who claimed self-defense after he attacked his roommate with a machete last month has been charged with second-degree murder.

In charging papers filed in Snohomish County Superior Court, prosecutors allege Mark Abrahamson Jr., 31, killed Scotty Sass, 51, in their yard during a disagreement over a wheelbarrow.

On the evening of June 16, Abrahamson was with his girlfriend inside their home around 7 p.m. when they heard Sass yelling in the yard.

They walked outside where Sass was spreading gravel with a shovel, rakes and a handcart, according to charging papers. The roommate reportedly was angry he had to use the cart because his wheelbarrow was missing.

Sass blamed the couple for the missing wheelbarrow. The two men argued and walked toward each other.

Abrahamson was wielding a machete he had reportedly sharpened earlier in the day. The girlfriend stepped between the two men to try to defuse the situation. Sass swore and pushed her out of the way, according to charging papers.

The boyfriend swung the blade and struck Sass’ neck, according to the charges. The girlfriend took the machete, threw it to the ground, then told Abrahamson to call 911. She ran into the house to get towels to treat the roommate’s wound, she reported.

The boyfriend called 911 saying he had used a machete in the fight with Sass, who was injured, according to court documents. He then hung up.

A 911 dispatcher called him back. Abrahamson told the dispatcher that he would not run away. He tried to explain his actions, saying he acted out of self-defense.

A neighbor called 911, too, saying the suspect was running north on 127th Avenue NE in Arlington Heights, according to the charges.

Sheriff’s deputies drove to the crime scene. On their way, they saw Abrahamson, shirtless, sitting on the ground at 127th and 208th Street NE. Blood was on his hands and shoes. He reported he had “ruined everybody’s life,” then went on to say that he had “no choice,” according to the charges. He told deputies Sass strangled his girlfriend and attacked the couple with a shovel.

At the home, deputies found Sass’ body in his gravel driveway. The Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office examined his body and confirmed the cause of his cause of death was a chop wound.

A neighbor reported he had been mowing his lawn when Abrahamson ran toward him and told him he had to defend himself.

In an interview, the girlfriend told a deputy that Sass grabbed her shirt, shook her and pushed her out of the way when she tried to intervene. She reported she was never strangled or attacked with a shovel.

Abrahamson claimed he, his girlfriend and Sass had smoked methamphetamine earlier that day, according to the charges. The three roommates had lived together for four months.

The suspect had no previous felony convictions, according to charging papers. In 2012, he was convicted in Grant County of domestic violence assault in the fourth degree, a misdemeanor.

Abrahamson was booked into the Snohomish County Jail on June 17. Everett District Court Judge Tam Bui set bail at $750,000. Bui also imposed a no-contact order prohibiting any communication between Abrahamson and his girlfriend.

In a request to increase the bail amount, deputy prosecutor Matt Hunter noted Abrahamson violated the no-contact order with his girlfriend, “a critical witness,” by talking to her through video calls, phone calls and text messages.

On Monday at an arraignment hearing, Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Cassandra Lopez-Shaw increased Abrahamson’s bail to $2 million. He remained behind bars Friday.

Ellen Dennis: 425-339-3486;; Twitter: @reporterellen

Talk to us

More in Local News

King County map logo
Tribal members dance to start an assemble on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day Friday evening at Tulalip Gathering Hall in Tulalip, Washington on September 30, 2022.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
‘Still here’: Tulalip boarding school descendants celebrate resilience

On Orange Shirt Day, a national day of remembrance, the Tulalip Tribes honored those who suffered due to violent cultural suppression.

Councilmember Megan Dunn, left, stands next to County Executive Dave Somers as he presents his 2023 budget proposal to her, Councilmember Nate Nehring and Councilmember Sam Low. (Snohomish County)
As County Council begins budget talks, here’s how you can weigh in.

Department heads will make their pitches in the next few days. Residents will get a say at a forum and two hearings this month

Representative Rick Larsen speaks at the March For Our Lives rally on Saturday, June 11, 2022 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Larsen to hold community meeting in Everett on Monday

The veteran Democratic lawmaker will address recent legislation passed by Congress and other topics.

Everett gets state Auditor’s Office stewardship award

State Auditor Pat McCarthy presented the award during the most recent Everett City Council meeting.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Monroe in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
FBI: Monroe man trafficked, abused Mexican woman through marriage ruse

Rangel Ramirez-Manzano was charged with paying for a woman to be smuggled across the border, then essentially holding her hostage.

Toggle’s Bottle Shop is closed permanently on Monday, Oct. 3, 2022, in downtown Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Citing landlord dispute, Toggle’s closes in downtown Everett

The popular taproom shuttered Sunday. “Everett needs a cooperative landlord-tenant relationship in the commercial district,” a co-owner said.

Community Transit chief financial officer Eunjoo Greenhouse
Community Transit hires King County staffer as CFO

Eunjoo Greenhouse is set to join the agency Oct. 24 after years in King County government.

(Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest - US Forest Service)
U.S. 2 reopens east of Index as Bolt Creek wildfire moves north

The highway was blocked off earlier this week as the fire spread.

Most Read