Mountlake Terrace woman beaten by home invader has died

The mother of two was married and was pregnant with a third child, friends of the family said.

Christopher Yacono (Washington Department of Corrections)

Christopher Yacono (Washington Department of Corrections)

MOUNTLAKE TERRACE — A woman has died from injuries she suffered last month when a stranger broke into her home and beat her unconscious.

Marta Teweldemedhin died Monday at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. She had been on life support and earlier had been determined to no longer have brain function.

The victim is from Eritrea, an African nation that gained its independence in 1993.

The mother of two was happily married and was pregnant with a third child, friends of the family said.

She heard a commotion coming from her neighbor’s place and went to investigate April 16, according to a police report. Her family rents the basement of the house, which includes two separate residences.

Christopher D. Yacono, 29, who has a history of mental health issues, remains in the Snohomish County Jail after his arrest for investigation of first-degree assault and first-degree burglary. Those allegations may be upgraded to murder when charges are filed.

Yacono told police he doesn’t know why he broke into the home. Nor could he explain why he slammed the woman’s head onto the hardwood floor, threw a beer bottle at her and beat her with a cooking pot until it broke, according to court papers.

One of her children was home when the assault occurred.

Yacono told police he was in his car charging his phone in front of the victim’s home when “something told him to go into the house,” court records said. He said he first knocked and then kicked the door in. Once inside, he saw the woman in the living room and she screamed. That, police allege, is when he attacked her.

Yacono allegedly grabbed a beer from the refrigerator afterward and left the home.

The suspect said he has mental illness and had not been taking his medication.

Although he said he didn’t know why he attacked the woman, he said he felt a compulsion to do so.

“I asked him if voices told him to assault the victim and he said no,” a police officer wrote in a report.

Friends and co-workers have raised nearly $35,000 in support of the family. Much of the money has come from her husband’s co-workers at Harborview Medical Center, where he is a hospital assistant, and from friends in the local Ethiopian and Eritrean community.

Court records show Yacono was convicted in 2017 after setting a fire the year before in a Lynnwood apartment where a former roommate lived and threatening the man’s life in a text message.

The court in May 2017 found that his mental health issues played a role in his crimes. He was sentenced to prison May 16, 2017, and released to community supervision Oct. 31. He’s under court order to be under supervision for life, according to the state Department of Corrections. Yacono had a previous conviction for felony assault and nearly a dozen misdemeanor convictions.

Under the state’s three-strikes law, he could face life in prison if convicted.

Mountlake Terrace Police and the Snohomish County Prosecutor’s Office will be working together to amend the charges, police said in a press release Tuesday morning.

Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446; stevick@heraldnet.com.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Repairs for collapsed culvert to close Everett’s Larimer Road

Drivers may need to find an alternate route for days.

Blue bump: Democratic majority in Snohomish, King counties

A new survey found that 52% of adults in the area say they are Democrats or that they lean Democratic.

Lawmakers find many patches to cover hole in road budgets

Spending plans use transfers and other tools to offset $453M less in revenue due to Initiative 976

Snohomish County aims for all renewable energy by 2045

A government-led group is trying to make the county’s vehicles and buildings effectively carbon free.

Repealing Boeing’s big tax break could be a bumpy ride

It will be ended to avoid a trade dispute. But workers want Boeing to make changes if it’s later restored.

Front Porch

EVENTS Meet superintendent candidates Students, families, staff and others with ties to… Continue reading

Snohomish County prosecutor calls for end of death penalty

Adam Cornell didn’t oppose it until the Supreme Court struck it down. He says that changed the landscape.

Dan Bates / The Herald
                                Diane Grossenbacher, office manager at Lynndale Elementary School, will celebrate her 15th actual birthday and turn 60 on Saturday, leap day. Third- and fourth-graders on Wednesday give her an early birthday card and had fun answering math questions related to leap year.
Leap of fun: School staffer turns 60 on her 15th birthday

A Lynnwood elementary school office manager makes a math lesson out of her every-four-years celebration.

Assistant superintendent chosen to lead Monroe schools

Directors picked Justin Blasko. A contract is being negotiated. He’s worked in Monroe for 10 years.

Most Read