Sequim woman being held in Spokane on second-degree murder

Documents say she killed her son

SPOKANE — A woman who had lived in Sequim for the last seven months is being held in Spokane County jail in lieu of $500,000 bail for investigation of second-degree murder after telling sheriff’s deputies there a week ago that she had killed her son sometime in June 2022, according to Spokane County court documents.

Christine D. Catelli, 58, made her first appearance in Spokane County District Court on Tuesday. Her next court date had not been set as of Thursday.

Preston McCollam, spokesperson for the Spokane County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, said Thursday she’s been charged in district court with second-degree murder and is being held on $500,000 bail.

Once the case is bound over to Superior Court, she will receive her next court date and be officially charged, and that is the arraignment, he said.

The case was heard by a weekend judge before the arrest affidavit was submitted because court rules allow filing of a felony complaint in district court if that is the only one available, McCollam said.

According to her first appearance evaluation completed Sunday, Christine D. Catelli has lived with her brother, William F. Catelli, in Sequim for seven months. 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 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.

According to the Spokane Sheriff’s Office charging request, the crime occurred on June 1, 2022, at 1403 W. Jennings Road in Spangle, a town of 278 people located 18 miles south of Spokane on U.S. Highway 195.

An affidavit filed Sunday stated that Christine Catelli shot and killed her son, Chase Catelli, “removed his head from his torso, wrapped both separately in plastic and disposed of his remains near Rock Lake in Whitman County.”

Rock Lake is the largest natural lake in Eastern Washington and 360 feet deep. It is located 35 miles southwest of Spokane.

Contacted Thursday in Sequim, William Catelli said his attorney had advised him not make any comment.

Spokane County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Sharon Hedlund told the court in a filing: “The Defendant does have criminal history, albeit remote, and is no longer a local resident; this incident allegedly occurred in June 2022 yet we are only now able to investigate the death; the charge is a serious violent crime with no apparent motive other than than drug involvement which continues to be an issue for the Defendant; there is significant concern for community safety.”

The Spokane County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office could not be reached Thursday afternoon for comment.

Clallam County Sheriff Brian King said Thursday the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office has not contacted his office regarding the case.

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Reporter Brian Gawley can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at brian.gawley@soundpublishing.com.

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