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Defense may argue insanity for Machias man who killed his mother

The Daily Herald - 6/2/2018

EVERETT — Trial has been delayed again for a Machias man accused of killing his mother in 2016.

Medical professionals are not sure whether Zachary Konicke is living with mental illness, or whether he had a psychiatric break brought on by hallucinogenic drugs, court records show. Neither circumstance could be confirmed or ruled out.

Konicke is charged with first-degree murder and arson. His next hearing is set for September. Bail remains at $1 million.

Prosecutors allege that Konicke, now 31, stabbed both his parents and set fire to their house between Snohomish and Lake Stevens. His father survived his wounds. Konicke escaped the flames by jumping from an upper story.

There were questions early in the case about his mental health and history of drug use. A forensic evaluation found that he was competent to stand trial, and a judge agreed in August 2016.

The next month, attorneys indicated they were considering a defense of not guilty by reason of insanity. That prompted another psychiatric evaluation, which was filed in December 2016.

Konicke was asked about his previous comments about living in a world with spirits. He said he was back "in reality," according to the report. An ex-partner told investigators that Konicke became interested in hallucinogenic drugs in 2014, and his resulting "bizarre" behavior was one of the reasons for their breakup.

The defendant reportedly told police his parents attacked him because they were possessed. His mother, Vicki Konicke, 58, had told friends she was worried about her son in the months leading up to the fire.

Another mental health report was filed in court this past December. Zachary Konicke was last before a judge May 24.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; ; Twitter: @rikkiking .


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