HOODSPORT, Wash. —
A Hoodsport man who first claimed his wife's death was a mercy killing later told police that he fatally shot her during an alcohol-fueled argument, the Mason County Sheriff’s Office said.
Chief Deputy Dean Byrd said the man, Chris Thorson, who is a longtime Department of Corrections employee, first told officers Thursday that his wife was suffering from dementia and had pleaded with him to kill her.
After further investigation, police said Thorson’s story fell apart and Thorson told them that he and his wife, Vanessa Thorson, had been drinking when an argument broke out.
At some point, while the victim was lying on the couch, she told Thorson, “Why don’t you just shoot me then?” and Thorson got out a shotgun and shot her twice in the stomach, Bryd said.
Investigators said Thorson then disassembled the shotgun, put it away, and later called 911, claiming the killing was an assisted suicide.
"He apparently went out on the deck and had a cigarette and a drink before he called the police," Byrd said.
Vanessa Thorson, 55, was pronounced dead at the couple’s home in the 100 block of North Fairway Drive in Hoodsport.
After being interviewed by officers, Thorson was later booked into the Mason County Jail.
He was charged with first-degree murder on Friday and was ordered held on $1 million bail.
Thorson has resigned from his DOC job, KIRO 7 Eyewitness News reporter Richard Thompson said.