Decision on death penalty for Vancouver homicide suspect postponed
Originally published January 13, 2012 at 11:43 a.m., updated January 13, 2012 at 6:23 p.m.
Prosecutors will wait until April 1 to decide whether to seek the death penalty against a Vancouver man accused of stabbing his girlfriend to death last spring.
Dennis L. Wolter, 44, charged with first-degree aggravated murder in the May 26 stabbing of Kori Fredericksen, had a hearing Friday concerning prosecutors’ Jan. 15 deadline to decide whether to pursue capital punishment.
The charge, Washington’s only capital crime, allows prosecutors the option of requesting the death penalty. But the state first considers a “mitigation packet” put together by the defense with factors that could merit leniency for a defendant.
One of Wolter’s attorneys, Therese Lavallee, said Friday that the defense had requested more time to prepare the packet. Clark County Prosecutor Tony Golik agreed to the extended deadline.
Currently, Wolter’s trial is set for July 9.
The aggravating factor in Wolter’s case is that he reportedly violated a no-contact order imposed a week before the homicide when he was arrested on fourth-degree assault domestic violence in connection with 41-year-old Fredericksen.
Wolter was suspected in the homicide when he was stopped by a police officer in Camas the morning of May 26 for speeding and was found covered in blood, according to court documents.
Police searching the area of the traffic stop discovered Fredericksen’s body down a steep embankment along Southeast Evergreen Highway. She had been stabbed multiple times.
Fredericksen’s sister has said Kori Fredericksen had been trying to leave town the night of the slaying. After being unable to pay the extra fee for overweight baggage on the Greyhound bus, she went back to Wolter’s house in the 1200 block of West 39th Street because, she told a friend, she wanted to retrieve her personal items. She was never heard from again.
Wolter is being held in the Clark County Jail without bail.
Laura McVicker: www.twitter.com/col_courts; www.facebook.com/reportermcvicker; email@example.com;360-735-4516.