Mill Creek man gets 16 years for stabbing his wife to death

It was the culmination of a marriage marred by violence, separation and reconciliation, records show.

EVERETT — A Mill Creek man was sentenced to more than 16 years in prison Thursday for fatally stabbing his wife in February 2017.

“It is true that I did something very wrong,” Matt Alton, 53, said through an interpreter.

Evidence showed that he plunged a kitchen knife 18 times into Norensa Pillias, 66. It was the culmination of a marriage marred for years by domestic violence, separation and reconciliation, court papers show.

What happened was “a huge tragedy,” Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Ellen Fair said before announcing Alton’s sentence.

The violence of the attack could not be overlooked, Fair said. She noted that investigators found indications Alton might be living with mental health issues and evidence of cultural complications linked to the family having immigrated from a Chuukese-speaking community in the Western Pacific.

The punishment Fair imposed was in keeping with the recommendation from deputy prosecutors Julie Mohr and Cheryl Johnson, and near the middle of the range under state sentencing guidelines.

Before the hearing, Alton received court permission to speak with Noraine Pillias, his adult daughter who had tried to intervene during the fatal attack.

The reunion happened at a distance, and under the close watch of corrections officers.

Noraine Pillias later spoke to Fair, asking that the court rescind a court order that has kept her father from having contact with her since the killing.

She spoke so softly that it was difficult to hear her words from the courtroom gallery.

The judge had no such difficulty. She rescinded the order, and said that it was clear that Alton had the support of a strong and “extraordinarily kind and generous young lady.”

Alton in March pleaded guilty to second degree murder as lawyers were gearing up for what would have been a jury trial.

The defendant wept in court Thursday, particularly when he talked about his love for his daughter. He recalled the night of the killing, sitting in handcuffs in the back of a police car, and seeing Noraine Pillias talking with police.

He now lives with “great regret,” Alton said.

Scott North: 425-339-3431; north@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @snorthnews.

Talk to us

More in Local News

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.
‘White saviorhood’: Mukilteo schools end ‘Mockingbird’ requirement

The book is not banned in the school district. The last book brought before the school board was by Maya Angelou.

Jesse Spitzer (Snohomish County Sheriff's Office)
Wanted man fled from Gold Bar to Idaho, police say

Jesse Spitzer, 30, who has a history of violence against officers, is wanted for felonies in two states.

NO CAPTION NECESSARY: Logo for the Cornfield Report by Jerry Cornfield. 20200112
Guv will testify; a dinosaur is revived; GOP is resurgent

Here’s what’s happening on Day 17 of the 2022 session of the Washington Legislature.

Police looking for Mukilteo bank robber, seeking tips

The man appeared to be in his late 20s or early 30s, white, slender, about 5-foot-8, with dark blond hair.

Police: Marysville Pilchuck student arrested for wielding knife

Neither of the students involved in the Wednesday morning fight was injured, police reported.

Registered nurse Estella Wilmarth tends to a patient in the acute care unit of Harborview Medical Center, Friday, Jan. 14, 2022, in Seattle. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is deploying 100 members of the state National Guard to hospitals across the state amid staff shortages due to an omicron-fueled spike in COVID-19 hospitalizations. Inslee announced Thursday that teams will be deployed to assist four overcrowded emergency departments at hospitals in Everett, Yakima, Wenatchee and Spokane, and that testing teams will be based at hospitals in Olympia, Richland, Seattle and Tacoma. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Past the omicron peak? Snohomish County’s COVID cases declining

Hospitalizations are still a concern, however, and infections in Eastern Washington and Idaho could have ripple effects here.

A map of city council districts and districting commission nominees put forth by the Everett City Council and mayor. (City of Everett)
Everett council, mayor pick districting commission nominees

Only one returns from the previous commission, while another is a former city council member.

Funko mascots Freddy Funko roll past on a conveyor belt in the Pop! Factory of the company's new flagship store on Aug. 18, 2017.  (Dan Bates / The Herald)
Despite Arizona move, Everett leaders expect Funko HQ to stay

The toymaker is closing Everett warehouses. But a recent “HQ2” expansion has the city confident Funko will remain rooted here.

Lynnwood Public Works employees on the snow plow crew sit in front of one of the city's two plows that will be named based on results of an online public vote. (City of Lynnwood)
Lynnwood snow plow names: Snowbi Wan Kenobi, Plowy McPlowface

They got the two highest votes in an online public survey by Lynnwood Public Works.

Most Read