Elderly suspect charged again in murder

The Kitsap County Prosecutor’s Office re-filed a murder charge last month against an elderly man found incompetent to stand trial nearly ten years ago in the death of a McCormick Woods woman.

Joseph D. Guendalain, 72, was re-booked into Kitsap County Jail last week after being transferred from Western State Hospital. Prosecutors decided to re-file a second-degree murder charge after learning the suspect may be released from the hospital.

According to court documents, Guendalain was 63 when he was originally arrested for the murder of Christine Rose, whom he was living with at 6910 McCormick Woods Drive.

Rose was found dead on April 12, 1996, in her bed by Kitsap County Sheriff’s deputies after a friend of Rose reported that she had not heard from the victim for several days.

Upon arriving at the victim’s house, deputies found several days worth of mail and newspapers, then after entering the home, found Rose dead in her bed.

An autopsy revealed she died of a stab wound to the chest, and approximated the day of death as April 6, 1996.

Deputies reported that Guendalain, her roommate, had not been heard from or seen since April 6, when a local bartender said he came into his bar and drank several glasses of scotch. Acquaintances of both said the defendant was very possessive of Rose and known to be violent.

The day before, April 5, Guendalain had come into the sheriff’s office wanting to report that Rose was violating a contract they shared that neither was to see other people of the opposite sex. Deputies said that the suspect asked them to enforce the contract.

Guendalain was tracked driving over the Canadian border the day after Rose’s murder, then later boarded a plane to Spain. The following month, Guendalain was arrested in Kitsap County when he returned to town. Authorities learned he was planning to fly to Chile.

Shortly after he was charged with murder, Guendalain was declared incompetent to stand trail and transferred to Western State. In 2002, a psychiatrist found him incompetent due to “severe memory problems, and that he had a moderate to high risk of future assaultive behavior, especially toward women.”

Last week, Kitsap County Superior Court Judge Sally Olsen ordered Guendalain returned to Western State for another competency hearing.

His next court date is July 13.

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