Teen to be charged as an adult in SK woman’s stabbing
April 8, 2009 · Updated 9:56 AM
A 17-year-old South Kitsap teenager accused of stabbing to death his elderly neighbor appeared in Kitsap County Superior Court on Monday afternoon.
Daniel J. Mustard, who lives down the street from the victim, made a preliminary appearance pending an expected charge of first-degree murder. Formal charging in the case is set for Wednesday and Mustard, who turns 18 next month, is being charged as an adult.
Deputy prosecutor Andy Anderson described the crime as “brutal” and requested Mustard continue to be held under $1 million bail.
“The defendant is also claiming some sort of mental health issue,” Anderson said, explaining that “his reasons for entering (the Andrews’ home) are still unknown.”
Judge Ted Spearman kept the bail at $1 million, saying there was “ample cause” to do so.
The Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office arrested Mustard Sunday evening, three hours after Ruby Andrews, 87, was found stabbed to death in her home on Puget Drive East in Colchester.
According to the statement of probable cause, the victim’s husband and the couple’s son arrived home at 4:40 p.m. and discovered Andrews on the bathroom floor.
Her husband told police that the couple’s Cadillac was missing, along with at least one firearm and a picture frame containing $100 bills.
One of the victim’s neighbors told police he saw a white male drive from the Andrews’ house in their Cadillac, turn into the driveway of Mustard’s house, then drive away.
At 6:43 p.m., detectives spoke with Mustard, whom detectives said had a knife in his pocket, blood on his shoes and who became “increasingly nervous” as he was questioned. At one point, the deputies said the defendant asked them if they “thought he did (the murder).”
The deputies placed him under arrest and booked him into the Kitsap County Juvenile Detention Center for first-degree murder. While the defendant was searched, corrections officers reportedly located the victim’s wedding ring in his pocket.
In the meantime, deputies located the stolen Cadillac parked inside the Mariner’s Glen apartment complex on Jackson Avenue with the gun stolen from the Andrews inside.
A deputy later spoke with a friend of the defendant, who said Mustard boasted to him that he stabbed the victim and stole the car.
At 10:30 p.m., detectives spoke with Mustard’s father, who reportedly told them that once he learned of the incident, he told his son to go home and not walk around because he would be “the No. 1 suspect” because officers had responded to their home the week prior. According to the Sheriff’s Office, deputies contacted Mustard for “being out of control and displaying pocket knives.”
Duties then went to Mustard’s home, where they reportedly found clothing stained with blood and caps that matched the witness’ description of what the suspect who drove off in the Cadillac was wearing.