April trial date set for former Sequim woman in alleged murder of son

SPOKANE — An April 24 trial date has been set in Spokane County Superior Court for Christine D. Catelli, 58, formerly of Sequim, following her Feb. 28 arraignment on one count of second-degree murder in the death of her son, Chase.

She is being held in lieu of $500,000 bail.

The presiding judge in the trial will be Timothy Fennessy, who was first elected Spokane County Superior Court Judge in 2016.

The county prosecutor will be Sharon Hedlund, the county’s major crimes deputy prosecutor who has been with the Spokane County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office since February 1998.

Catelli is being represented by Richard George Mathisen, who has been with the Spokane County Public Defenders Office since January 1997.

Mathisen in a Wednesday morning email declined comment except to say, “The arraignment yesterday marks the official beginning of the process to resolve the allegations against Ms. Catelli.

“We need to have a vigorous investigation to explore all aspects of the case in order to fulfill the defense obligations of due diligence, which legitimize the adversarial justice system.”

According to her first appearance evaluation completed Jan. 15, Catelli had lived with her brother, William F. Catelli, in Sequim for seven months prior to her arrest. She is a truck driver and former Spokane resident.

Catelli confided in her brother about killing her son, Chase H. Catelli, 35, of Airway Heights on Jan. 14 and he convinced her to turn herself in to the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office, according to court documents.

Catelli told Spokane County sheriff’s deputies in mid-January that she had killed her son sometime in June 2022.

Catelli led a Spokane County Sheriff’s detective to where she had dumped her son’s body into the brush next to a bridge over Kamiache Creek.

In an ensuing interview, Christine Catelli “admitted to shooting her son Chase 5 or 6 times in the chest and head because she ‘didn’t want him to suffer’” and then cutting off his head with a saw, court documents said.

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Reporter Brian Gawley can be reached at brian.gawley@ soundpublishing.com.

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