TACOMA, Wash. - A man accused of killing his elderly father referred to him as a “monster” and appeared to be suffering from mental health problems, records show.
Pierce County prosecutors on Friday charged Kurt Youngers with first-degree murder.
In an arraignment Friday afternoon, Youngers plead not guilty. Bail was set to $1 million.
Neighbors described Youngers, 53, as unfriendly and said he’d been acting strangely in recent weeks.
When he sent a text message to a friend early Thursday to say he’d shot his father, the friend initially believed it was a joke. But he eventually called Tacoma police and asked them to check on the 78-year-old father because of Youngers’ “recent odd behavior,” according to charging papers.
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Officers found the father dead on the couch, covered with a blanket. He had been shot in the face.
Officials identified the victim as Otto Youngers. He lived in one of two homes owned by his son in the 3500 block of South Wilkeson Street.
Charging documents give this account:
Police arrived at Youngers’ home about 4 p.m. Thursday and asked to speak with him.
He made several odd statements, including that “there’s a monster inside and I killed him,” records show.
Youngers repeatedly referred to his father as a “monster” and allegedly told detectives he shot him because the elder Youngers wouldn’t admit to killing JFK or being a Nazi.
A gun was found on a bed in an upstairs bedroom. A shell casing was found in the son’s pocket and Kurt Youngers referred to it as a “keepsake,” records show.
Neighbors described the family as quiet and private, saying the gates in front of the houses were almost always closed.
“They were the best neighbors I’ve had in this neighborhood and I’ve lived here for 30 years,” said Kim Mattison, who lives next door to the house where the shooting occurred.
Otto Youngers was well-known in the neighborhood and at a nearby Safeway, where he once walked every morning for a cup of Starbucks coffee and pastry.
“He was such a nice guy,” neighbor Leann Buckmaster said. “He would talk to all the neighbors.”
Buckmaster noted that she hadn’t seen the father around much lately and suspected it was due to ailing health.
Ramona N-goran, who lived behind the Youngers’ homes, said Otto Youngers always had a kind word and smile.
“He was a very nice gentleman,” she said.