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News / Clark County News

Camas-Washougal fire battalion chief faces murder allegation in wife’s January death

Kevin West of Washougal was arrested Friday in the strangulation death of wife Marcelle West

By Dylan Jefferies, Columbian staff writer
Published: March 22, 2024, 12:11pm

A Camas-Washougal Fire Department battalion chief was arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder Friday in the January death of his wife, according to the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.

Kevin West, 49, is suspected of strangling Marcelle “Marcy” West, 48, on Jan. 8, according to a sheriff’s office news release.

He was booked Friday into the Clark County Jail and is scheduled to make a first appearance on the allegation Monday in Clark County Superior Court, the jail roster shows.

According to the sheriff’s office, at 4:27 a.m. Jan. 8, the Camas-Washougal Fire Department and Washougal Police Department responded to a medical emergency at a residence on 34th Street. Kevin West told first responders his wife was having a seizure, and she had stopped breathing. Medics unsuccessfully attempted to resuscitate her; she was declared dead at 5:11 a.m.

TO GET HELP

If you are a victim of domestic violence and need shelter or other resources, call YWCA Clark County’s 24-hour Crisis Hotline at 360-695-0501.

To receive help from the National Domestic Violence Hotline, call 1-800-799-7233 or go to www.thehotline.org/get-help/.

The police department and Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office began a standard death investigation, the sheriff’s office said.

Several people contacted authorities with concerns about the Wests’ relationship and worries that Marcy West’s death may not have been from natural causes, according to the sheriff’s office. An autopsy revealed indications of trauma to Marcy West’s neck.

A criminal investigation was initiated and handed off to the sheriff’s office to avoid a conflict of interest because of Kevin West’s employment with the fire department.

Detectives conducted multiple interviews with Kevin West, reviewed body-worn camera footage from Washougal police officers who responded to the scene and reviewed photos from the original death investigation.

Detectives said Marcy and Kevin West were alone at their residence Jan. 8.

On Jan. 31, detectives served search warrants on the Wests’ residence, cellphones and online service providers, the sheriff’s office said.

Through their investigation, detectives said they learned Kevin and Marcy West were having marital and financial problems, and they determined Kevin West provided contradictory statements to officials, according to the sheriff’s office.

On March 20, the medical examiner declared the cause of death to be asphyxia with blunt trauma to the neck and the manner of death as homicide. The ruling does not make any judgments about criminal culpability.

The investigation is ongoing.

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