A 40-year-old Kennewick man accused of fatally stabbing his estranged wife’s boyfriend is being held on $250,000 bail while detectives continue interviewing witnesses and gathering evidence.
Matthew H. de Vore made his first appearance in Benton County Superior Court on Tuesday.
Judge Vic VanderSchoor found probable cause to hold him on suspicion of second-degree murder.
Prosecutors have until 10 a.m. Dec. 1 to charge de Vore or release him from the Benton County jail. The delay in the charging deadline is because a 72-hour hold doesn’t include weekends or holidays, and the court is closed Thursday and Friday for Thanksgiving.
Never miss a local story.
However, Prosecutor Andy Miller did note that his office may file before then.
De Vore allegedly killed Thomas R. Christian Sr. on Monday morning in the waiting room of Biomat USA in Kennewick.
Christian, 45, was with his girlfriend, Brenda de Vore, who is in the process of divorcing the suspect.
The attack happened in front of dozens of people at 10 a.m. in the crowded North Union Street plasma donation center.
Multiple witnesses told police that Matthew de Vore walked into Biomat and approached Christian as he was seated in the lobby.
“Brief words were exchanged and then de Vore used an 8-inch kitchen knife to stab Christian,” Kennewick Detective Jason Harrington wrote in the investigative hold request.
One witness told the Herald that Brenda de Vore had tried to save her boyfriend from getting stabbed.
Christian, a grandfather, was pronounced dead at the scene.
De Vore ran from the business but was chased down and cornered by several witnesses to the fatal assault, police said. They convinced him to surrender, and de Vore sat down until officers arrived and arrested him in the WinCo Foods parking lot, just up West Clearwater Avenue from Biomat.
Sgt. Ken Lattin, a Kennewick police spokesman, told the Herald on Tuesday that the department is not planning to release any more information about the case.
Miller recommended the $250,000 bail amount, saying it is an active investigation and there’s “still a lot of work to be done.”
An autopsy was performed Tuesday afternoon by Dr. Sig Menchel, a forensic pathologist from Bellevue. Results of the autopsy could be disclosed at a later time.
Christian had recently moved to the Tri-Cities to be with Brenda de Vore. The two had dated in high school and rekindled their romance about four months ago after finding each other online, according to Christian’s children.
Brenda de Vore filed for divorce from Matthew in August and it was set to be finalized Dec. 9. They have been married since 1996 and have four children.
Brenda de Vore accused her estranged husband of a history of domestic violence in an August court filing, alleging that he repeatedly abused her, hit their teenage boys and put his hands around the neck of their youngest girl.
Matthew de Vore’s criminal record includes a 1999 assault conviction in Everett Municipal Court involving his wife, and a fourth-degree assault with domestic violence in Benton County District Court this past May for assaulting his teenage son in a store parking lot.
Reporter Tyler Richardson contributed to this report.