Man beaten to death in Covington

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COVINGTON, Wash. - The King County Sheriff’s Office is investigating after a man was beaten to death Sunday evening in Covington.

 

Police said they received a 911 call from someone saying a man had been shot in the head in a camper behind the house and that the suspect was still at the location in the 26800 block of 172nd Place Southeast.  

 

Police had originally believed that 46-year-old Bill Smith, whose body was found  in a trailer behind a home,  had been shot in the head and died at the scene.  On Monday, the Sheriff's Office said a thorough investigation by the detectives revealed that Smith had actually been bludgeoned to death.

 

Neighbor Krystal Howarth said she was home when deputies moved in.

 

“All I heard was screaming and yelling coming from outside, and I ran out and there was a bunch of cops everywhere. (It was) pretty scary,” said Howarth.

 

According to Sheriff Steve Strachan, four people inside of the house were detained.

 

“Their stories were somewhat conflicting, so again, the four were detained so we can start to sift through exactly what happened,” said Strachan.

 

Just before 11 p.m. Sunday, deputies arrested 26-year-old Austin Stein, who is believed to be responsible for the attack.

 

Investigators said Stein appears to be an acquaintance of the victim.

 

 “This does not appear to be some sort of random incident, it appears everybody knows each other,” said Strachan.

 

 Detectives are still sorting out what led to the slaying.

 

Stein is being held on $1 million bail.