Manslaughter charges dismissed in 2017 elder abuse case

Irene Strandt, 81, reportedly died after being found with her legs bound while in her son’s care.

EVERETT — Charges have been dismissed against a man who had been accused of first-degree manslaughter, after his mother was found lying in filth with sores, a broken hip and her legs tied together in late 2017.

Irene Strandt, 81, died from her injuries.

Charges were dropped because Kenneth William Strandt, 55, is not able to care for himself, according to documents newly filed in Snohomish County Superior Court.

“The State no longer believes it can prove this case beyond a reasonable doubt,” deputy prosecutor Bob Langbehn wrote. “The defendant was recently evaluated for competency and, though competent, his own ability to care for himself is compromised. He is currently staying at a group home and it is uncertain when, if ever, he will be fully functioning again without assistance.”

On Dec. 1, 2017, Strandt called 911 to get help for his mother, who had reportedly been moaning the night before. They lived together in a house east of Mill Creek.

First responders found her on the floor with a purple sweater tied in knots around her legs. She had severe bed sores and was wrapped in blankets, though she was only wearing soiled underwear underneath, according police reports.

Detectives noted carpet in the home was covered in mold, dirt and human waste, and in some spots was rotting away. One detective reported that despite 20 years in law enforcement, “the smell of ammonia from urine in the home was so strong that it stung his eyes and throat,” documents say.

Investigators reported finding only mayonnaise and pop in the refrigerator. Strandt reportedly told detectives he had been feeding his mother peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and noodles. He reportedly said she hadn’t eaten a real meal in about two weeks.

Strandt was arrested and at first charged with first-degree criminal mistreatment, a felony. His only other criminal history was a DUI from 1986.

His mother died 16 days later. An autopsy found that her son’s “act of restraining her directly contributed to her death,” leading to a ruling of homicide.

Months later, Strandt was found competent to help in his own defense, and was charged with manslaughter. Jury trial dates have been scheduled in the past couple of years, but have been delayed, court records show. Langbehn, the deputy prosecutor, filed a motion to dismiss the case on Aug. 5.

Stephanie Davey: 425-339-3192;; Twitter: @stephrdavey.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers (top left) and Snohomish County Health District Administrative Officer Shawn Frederick (top right) give a COVID-19 update Tuesday in Everett. (Snohomish County Health District)
Kids are big part of coronavirus surge in Snohomish County

After seven weeks in decline, the county’s case rate has increased. About a fifth of new cases were kids under 14.

Top row (L-R): Paul Roberts, Mary Fosse, Paula Rhyne, Greg Lineberry, Don Schwab. Bottom row (L-R):Lacey Sauvageau, Tommie Rubatino, Liz Vogeli, Ben Zarlingo, Demi Chatters.
Who’s running for Everett council? New candidates — a lot of them

Ten people are vying for positions newly defined by districts. Only two are incumbents.

Police block roads in south Everett in search for suspect

Officers were trying to arrest a suspect near Everett Mall Way and Third Avenue Southeast.

Steve Oss (left) and Cassie Franklin.
Budget and homelessness at center of Everett mayor’s race

Steve Oss, a longtime transit worker, is challenging incumbent Cassie Franklin.

FILE - This October 2021, photo provided by Pfizer shows kid-size doses of its COVID-19 vaccine in Puurs, Belgium. The U.S. moved a step closer to expanding vaccinations for millions more children as a panel of government advisers on Tuesday, Oct. 26, endorsed kid-size doses of Pfizer's shots for 5- to 11-year-olds. (Pfizer via AP, File)
Pfizer vaccines for younger kids expected in state next week

The Health Department estimates about 30% of parents will seek shots immediately for children ages 5-11.

Residents move out of an apartment Wednesday afternoon in the Whispering Pines Complex in Lynnwood on August 25, 2021. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Housing authority traded $2,000 for Lynnwood tenants’ silence

Low-income tenants agreed not to sue or discuss a traumatic housing search, amid Whispering Pines’ impending demolition.

Gene Simmons impersonator, Jack Murrin practices on there bass guitar at his storage building on Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021 in Everett, Washington. Murrin, 51, a firefighter and impersonator, is putting on a 2-hour KISS concert with 19 songs in front of his north Everett home on Halloween.  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
The Demon: Gene Simmons imitator hosts a free Kiss concert

Everett firefighter and paramedic Jack Murrin will return to the stage for a Halloween show at his home.

The parking lot of a Lynnwood apartment complex in the 19800 block of 50th Avenue West where a man was allegedly stabbed Friday night. (Lynnwood Police)
Lynnwood man arrested for allegedly stabbing acquaintance

They were arguing at an apartment complex and began fighting.

Caregiver charged with raping Everett woman with dementia

A DNA sample found “very strong support” that Kelvin Njeru was the suspect, prosecutors allege.

Most Read