Dori: Man arrested for murder used sword, his mom calls WA State’s mental health system ‘a total mess’

Aug 2, 2022, 6:40 PM | Updated: Aug 3, 2022, 12:56 pm

After more than three years of trying to get her 26-year-old homeless son off the streets and into a mental health support program, a Skagit County mom is now heartbroken that her son has been arrested for allegedly killing another man with a sword.

“It’s like watching them die,” Bonnie Smith told Dori Monson Show listeners Tuesday. “The son I knew no longer hardly exists in that body.”

In her post to Facebook after a 52-year-old man was slain in a home there, the Concrete mom described her grief after learning about the July 28 killing.

Dori: ‘Senseless’ Seattle road-rage incident leads to deadly shooting while victim’s friends grieve

“Now another family, who my heart goes out to, has lost someone forever,” Smith wrote. “He can’t be brought back and my heart breaks for them.”

While Smith’s son has not been officially named or charged in the case, Smith acknowledged to Dori that “he could very well have done it.” Her son is currently being held in the Skagit County Community Justice Center for investigation of first-degree murder.

“All I know is that he does not need to be on the streets,” Smith told Dori. “He’s my son. I love him with all my heart.”

As a child, the mom said, her son was “a little kid who didn’t give you any trouble . . . in high school he played two sports.” Not long after turning 21, her son became “more agitated and argumentative and started having delusions.”

Unable to keep their own home when her son became troubling to roommates and neighbors, Smith moved in with friends.

In between stints in jail for committing other crimes, her son was living on the streets.

“I have been battling to get my son . . . the help he heeds for his paranoid schizophrenia (for) 3½ years now,” Smith posted. “I have battled to get him hospitalized in a psychiatric hospital because he was becoming violent and a danger to himself and others. Well, the system failed my son . . . our terrible laws and judges just kept releasing him knowing he was very sick.”

Her mission now, Smith told Dori, is to “get the word out to save lives in the future and change whatever needs to be changed in this very, very broken system. Please, please listen to us parents:  change the laws.”

Listen to Dori Monson weekday afternoons from noon – 3 p.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Dori: Man arrested for murder used sword, his mom calls WA State’s mental health system ‘a total mess’