Fire Department Battalion Chief Said Wife Died After a Seizure. Then Police Learned He Was Having an Affair


Kevin West planned to leave his wife on the day she died, writing to his lover, “2024 is our year,” an affidavit of probable cause states

<p>City Of Camas</p> Camas-Washougal Fire Battalion Chief Kevin West<p>City Of Camas</p> Camas-Washougal Fire Battalion Chief Kevin West

City Of Camas

Camas-Washougal Fire Battalion Chief Kevin West

A Washington state fire department battalion chief who called 911 in January saying his wife was having a seizure is now facing murder charges in connection with her death, say authorities.

An affidavit of probable cause now says that Kevin West, 49, of Washougal, had been cheating on his wife and was planning to leave her on the day she was killed, The Columbian reports.

On Jan. 23, two weeks after his wife,  Marcelle “Marcy” West, 48, died, West was having drinks with his girlfriend when detectives came to question him, the affidavit shows, The Columbian reports.

West was arrested on Friday and charged with first-degree murder. He is being held on a $1.5 million bond. He has not yet entered a plea.

Just before 4:30 a.m. on Jan. 8, West called 911 saying that his wife was having a seizure, had stopped breathing, and that he had begun performing CPR on her, the Clark County Sheriff’s Office said in a release.

Officers from the Washougal Police Department and medics from the Camas-Washougal Fire Department, where West has worked for 22 years, arrived on the scene.

Medics performed life-saving measures on her but were unable to resuscitate her, the sheriff’s office said.

In the days after Marcy West died,  several people contacted local authorities with “concerns about Kevin and Marcy’s potential relationship issues and worries that her death may not have been natural,” the sheriff’s office said.

When the autopsy revealed “indications of trauma to Marcy West’s neck,” the sheriff’s office said, authorities launched a criminal investigation.

The Washougal Police Department asked Clark County Sheriff’s Office to take over the criminal investigation to avoid any possible conflicts of interest since West is employed by the Camas-Washougal Fire Department, the sheriff’s office said.

Over the next several weeks, Clark County Sheriff’s Office detectives began conducting interviews with witnesses. They interviewed West multiple times.

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Detectives learned that West and his wife were alone at the residence at the time of her death.

“Through their investigation, Detectives learned that Kevin and Marcy were experiencing marital and financial problems,” the sheriff’s office said in the release. “Based on a comparison of interviews with Kevin and the evidence found at the house and contained in Kevin and Marcy’s cellphones, it appears that Kevin had given detectives contradictory statements.”

On March 20, the medical examiner determined that Marcy West’s cause of death was asphyxia with blunt trauma to the neck. The manner of death was homicide.

On Monday, Kevin West appeared via Zoom for his arraignment at the Clark County Courthouse, wearing a suicide-prevention smock, The Columbian reports.

West had planned to “end things” with Marcy West or move out of their home by Jan. 8, the day she died, Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for Clark County Jessica Smith told the court, KGW8 reports.

In court, Kevin West’s attorney, Brian Walker, admitted that his client was cheating on his wife.

“When he was later asked about her name he fully admitted he had had this affair,” Walker said in court, KGW8 reports. “He wasn’t hiding it. He was just never asked about it and was not eager to talk about it.”

According to the affidavit, detectives discovered two love letters in West’s garage that wrote to his girlfriend, The Columbian reports.

“2024 will be our year,” he wrote, according to the affidavit. “We will be together celebrating everyday with love and understanding of what it means for you and I to be together. Our story will ring in the New Year loud for all to hear!”

West is scheduled to return to court on April 9.

If you are experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go to thehotline.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.

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