Washington fire chief allegedly strangled wife on day he planned to leave her for longtime mistress: cops

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A Washington state fire chief embroiled in an on-and-off affair for two decades killed his wife in a fit of rage on the day he planned on leaving her for his mistress, investigators alleged.

Kevin West, 49, was arrested Friday, more than two months after he allegedly strangled Marcelle “Marcy” West to death on the morning of Jan. 8 in their Washougal home.

The Camas-Washougal Fire Department battalion chief told first responders that Marcy West was having a seizure, despite not having a history of the medical episode, police reported.

Camas-Washougal Fire Battalion chief Kevin West allegedly strangled his wife to death on the day he planned to leave her for his mistress. City of Camas

But investigators quickly became suspicious after noticing that the 48-year-old woman’s neck was covered with “indications of trauma” — and after receiving calls from concerned family and friends.

“In the following days, 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 Clark County Sherrif’s Office said.

“Through their investigation, Detectives learned that Kevin and Marcy were experiencing marital and financial problems. 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.”

When investigators turned up at West’s house to interrogate him on Jan. 31, they found him having drinks with his mistress in the garage, according to an arrest affidavit obtained by The Columbian.

West started the affair in 2004 after meeting the woman at the fire department, investigators alleged. City of Camas

The pair’s torrid affair allegedly began in 2004 when the woman was working at the fire department as a volunteer, and continued on and off over the next two decades.

Marcy West did not know about the cheating, West told investigators, adding that he had “no future plans” to walk out on her — a statement detectives discovered was a lie.

Just days before the slaying, West texted his lover’s mother and outlined his plans to move out on Jan. 8, stating it would mark “a big week for … (us) to celebrate.”

Detectives also found two love letters the alleged killer had written the woman indicating that he planned to leave Marcy for her.

“2024 will be our year,” he wrote, according to the affidavit.

“We will be together celebrating every day 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 was arrested just two days after his wife’s official cause of death was determined to be a homicide by asphyxia with blunt trauma to the neck.

West was charged with first-degree murder two days after his wife’s autopsy revealed she was strangled to death. KPTV

Only West and Marcy were in the home at the time, the sheriff’s office said.

The disgraced firefighter has denied any involvement in his wife’s murder.

“I spent my whole life helping people and saving people,” he said, according to the affidavit. “I never laid hands on my wife.”

West, who worked at the Camas-Washougal Fire Department for 22 years, is now on unpaid leave.

He was charged with first-degree murder and is being held on a $1.5 million bail.

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