Woman killed by husband at Ballard salon stabbed with screwdriver more than 100 times

SEATTLE — A man accused of stabbing his wife to death at their Ballard nail salon has been charged with second-degree murder.

Prosecutors say 41-year-old Terence Chan used a screwdriver to stab his wife,Hao “Helen” Tong, more than 100 times at the Sapphire Spa nail salon on Aug. 18.

After the attack, Chan told two people what happened via text messages and phone calls. He told one person he wanted to divorce Tong and had been planning on leaving that night but agreed to fix a sink at the salon first. Chan said while he was working on the sink, Tong attacked him with a screwdriver and he killed her in self-defense, charging documents said.

Tong had more than 100 puncture wounds on her face, the side and back of her head, both of her forearms and hands, upper body, and neck. Chan had a small bruise on his knee and some minor scratches on his arms.

“She struck first, but I struck last. She tried to stab me first, and then I didn’t stop stabbing her. She grabbed the (unintelligible). Why did she have to do that? Just let me go. Just let me go, just let me go,” Chan said in a video text message to one person.

Chan told the people he contacted that he planned to call others to say goodbye before calling 911 and then taking his own life before police arrived, court papers said.

Chan had asked those he called not to contact police, but they did.

Officers arrested Chan at the salon in the 7000 block of 15th Avenue Northwest shortly before 10 p.m. He was wearing a white T-shirt and jeans that appeared to be stained with blood.

Investigators found his wife dead in a bathroom. She was 34.

Luggage believed to belong to Chan was found in the back office/living area of the business. His passport was nearby.

Chan told officers he was planning on going to Canada after telling his wife he was leaving her.

Documents said Tong had three puncture wounds on her neck that caused massive blood loss and were likely the wounds that caused her death.

Chan was being held on $4 million bail Tuesday.