SNOHOMISH, Wash. - High school student Jarom Thomas, 18, died from injuries he apparently received when he was punched by a classmate outside a party in Lake Stevens, Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office investigators said.
Michael Galen, 18, was arrested for second-degree manslaughter and booked into the Snohomish County Jail.
According to court documents Galen and Thomas agreed to settle a dispute by letting Galen punch the other teen in the face.
The men smoked cigarettes together, and shook on the their “agreement," detectives said. Galen was ordered held on $10,000 bail Monday.
The suspect’s father broke down outside the courtroom and apologized to the victim’s family.
“To the parents of the kid it happened, please, I’m so sorry he did this. Please forgive me and forgive him,” said Mike Galen’s, suspect’s father.
“Michael said to me ‘Dad he’s my friend - he got in my face and told me to hit him.’ They were all drinking and things got out of hand,” Galen said.
The incident happened after a minor car crash outside a party in the 900 block of SW Lake Roesiger Road in Snohomish early Sunday morning.
The young men knew each other and both attended Crossroads High School in Granite Falls, court documents show. According to investigators, Galen struck the teen in the face and knocked him to the ground. A witness told investigators the teen hit his head on the concrete. Friends, including Galen, helped carry him back into the cabin where there was a party.
When they couldn’t wake him up, a friend drove him to Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett. The teen died at the hospital Sunday.
When Galen found out the other teen died, investigators say he tried to get a witness to say it was self-defense.
The witness shared that with police. Detectives say Galen confessed when he was questioned. He was arrested and booked into jail.
Galen has been getting death threats on social media, according to court documents.