Husband charged with stabbing wife at Mill Creek apartment

EVERETT — Norensa Pillias had moved out of the family home in 2015 for her safety.

Pillias was stabbed to death Feb. 21 in her bed at a Mill Creek apartment. Prosecutors have charged her husband, Matt Alton, with second-degree domestic violence murder. He was being held on $1 million bail. Alton, 52, is expected to be arraigned Wednesday.

In asking for a high bail, Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Julie Mohr wrote, “there is evidence of past domestic violence that finally led to this brutal and unprovoked stabbing.”

The couple’s 23-year-old daughter was in the room when the killing happened, court records said. She tried to intervene but told detectives her father was too strong.

The woman said that in 2015 Alton had become paranoid that Pillias was being unfaithful. She encouraged her mom to move out to protect herself. Pillias lived with her son but returned to the home last year “and everything between her mom and dad had seemed okay,” the woman told police.

“She said her dad had been in a good mood the night before the stabbing occurred,” Mohr wrote in charging papers.

Other relatives told police that the group had gone to a casino the night before and there didn’t seem to be any problems.

The couple’s daughter said an argument between her parents woke her up. She slept in a second bed in her parents’ room because six of her father’s relatives also were living in the apartment. The woman told police that Alton was on top of her mom, punching her. She was unable to stop the attack. Alton left the room for a short time. He returned, and “her mom’s screams sounded different.”

The defendant’s sister came into the room and turned on the light, court papers said. The couple’s daughter saw a knife sticking out of Pillias chest. She recognized the kitchen knife as one her mom had purchased.

She yelled for her family to call 911 but no one did, court papers said. The group later told police they fled the apartment.

The slain woman’s daughter sought help from a neighbor.

Officers found Alton walking around outside the apartment. He appeared to have blood on his face, as well as on his T-shirt and sweatshirt, Mohr wrote. He told officers his wife was dead.

Police found Pillias, 66, on the floor inside a bedroom. She had been stabbed in the back, sides and chest.

Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463;

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