Suspect ruled competent for trial in home-invasion killing

Christopher Yacono, who has a history of mental illness and drug use, has pleaded not guilty.

Christopher D. Yacono (Washington State Department of Corrections)

Christopher D. Yacono (Washington State Department of Corrections)

EVERETT — A man accused of killing a stranger during a home invasion in Mountlake Terrace has been found competent to stand trial.

Christopher D. Yacono, 29, of Arlington, understands the charges against him and the potential consequences, a Snohomish County judge was told.

Yacono said the outcome of his case should be, “Not guilty. I didn’t do it,” according to a psychologist’s report.

“Asked to explain, he said, ‘Because I don’t want the death penalty or (to) sit in prison for the rest of my life.’”

Earlier this month, a judge accepted the psychologist’s findings and said the case can proceed.

Yacono is charged with first-degree murder. He has been in the Snohomish County Jail since the April 16 attack.

Prosecutors say Yacono kicked down Marta Haile’s front door and assaulted her, including hitting her in the head with a cooking pot. Haile, 31, was pregnant. She and the baby both died.

Yacono pleaded not guilty Aug. 13. Bail was maintained at $1 million.

Yacono lives with bipolar schizoaffective disorder and also has a history of drug use, according to new court records. He said he was using methamphetamine, among other drugs, while living in a clean and sober house before his arrest.

He was not taking the prescribed medications for his mental illness, the judge was told. Yacono had last received mental health services April 12, just four days before the homicide.

Yacono told the psychologist that in the past he has heard voices and had delusions about the devil, the rapture and the apocalypse.

If convicted as charged, Yacono faces life in prison under the state’s persistent-offender or “three strikes” law. He has previous felony convictions for assault, arson and cyberstalking. Trial is scheduled to start next month.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @rikkiking.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Reader: Are developers responsible for repairing roads?

Development sites have requirements. Paving season is underway in unincorporated Snohomish County.

Inslee extends pause on counties advancing phases to July 28

Locally, leaders worry a spike in cases could cause hospitalizations and deaths to rise soon.

Eviction moratorium uncertainty means preparing for anything

Landlords and housing advocates work to keep a roof over the heads of Snohomish County’s renters.

Police find, rescue Shoreline man trapped in Edmonds ravine

Someone heard cries for help near a forested hillside near Marina Beach. He was there two days.

One dead, three hospitalized after Highway 522 crash

An East Wenatchee woman died after a head-on collision Saturday night in Monroe.

Want to save $357 a year? 50% more PUD customers now qualify

The new program expands eligibility for discounts based on income and household size.

Police: Lake Stevens political sign thief assaults witness

The suspect, 66, removed signs of two Black candidates, then attacked a man who confronted him, police said.

Suspect caught in killing of Bothell police officer

A man killed a police officer and injured another while trying to flee a traffic stop, police said.

Most Read