Crime

Pasco suspect denies trying to kill ex-girlfriend

PASCO -- A murder suspect said he didn't mean to kill his pregnant 19-year-old ex-girlfriend, he was just trying to put her to sleep, court documents revealed.

Kurtis Robert Chapman and Shenay Greenough apparently were fighting over a recent break-up when he allegedly strangled her and left her under his father's Pasco home.

An autopsy Thursday confirmed that the West Richland woman died of strangulation, said Franklin County Coroner Dan Blasdel.

The autopsy also showed that Greenough was more than 30 weeks pregnant, he said.

Greenough's family said she was expecting a girl in mid-June that she planned to name Kyana Shenay.

It took Dr. Daniel Selove, a forensic pathologist from Everett, more than five hours to complete the autopsy on Greenough and her baby.

The autopsy started about an hour before Chapman, 22, of Pasco, made his first appearance in Franklin County Superior Court.

Chapman is charged with second-degree murder and is expected back in court Tuesday afternoon to enter a plea. Bail remained at $1 million.

Supporters for the victim and the suspect packed into the courtroom for the brief but emotional hearing.

Hazel Green, Greenough's longtime friend, wept as Chapman walked in and Judge Robert Swisher started reading Chapman his rights.

"It was just unreal," Green said later.

Attorney Matt Rutt was appointed to represent Chapman, who is a former client.

After the hearing, Chapman's father, Robert, said he wanted to send his condolences to Greenough's family.

Greenough's body was found Monday under the Waldemar Avenue home of Chapman's father. Chapman also lives at the east Pasco home.

Two days earlier, Greenough's mother, Christina Sullivan, reported her daughter missing to West Richland police.

Christina Sullivan said Greenough left her West Richland home Saturday morning with Chapman, and another witness said Greenough and Chapman were seen leaving a Kennewick location around 3 p.m. Saturday, court documents said.

A witness said she had gotten text messages from Greenough between 3 and 4:25 p.m., saying she and Chapman were fighting over their break-up.

Then around 6 p.m., Chapman reportedly returned to the Kennewick location without Greenough and said he strangled Greenough and left her under his father's Pasco home, documents said.

Greenough's stepfather, James Sullivan, said Greenough and Chapman were dating off and on for about a month, but he didn't like Chapman because Chapman was a control freak.

Sullivan said he just figured Greenough and Chapman "hooked up and ran away together" after she left the house Saturday because "she was saying she wanted them to be together forever and ever."

Then they learned from police officers that Greenough had been strangled.

"That's the day Chris really went over the edge," James Sullivan said.

James Sullivan said he is surprised his wife is holding up as well as she is. He said she plans to attend all the court hearings if she can.

"She wants to be there ... to make him feel real bad about what he did to her daughter," James Sullivan said.

What should be a joyous time making plans for a new granddaughter is now full of grief as the family makes funeral plans for Greenough and the baby.

Chapman is not the father of the baby, or Greenough's nearly 2-year-old son, Ayden, James Sullivan said.

"We're grateful that Ayden wasn't there Saturday. He could have been another victim," James Sullivan said, adding that the toddler is now with his father.

An account has been established in Shenay Greenough's name at Gesa Credit Union for donations to help her family.

Her friends are planning a candlelight vigil at 7:50 p.m. Sunday at Volunteer Park in Pasco, which is across the street from the courthouse.

Green said she is hoping Greenough's friends and family will attend the vigil to talk about Greenough, and she is making arrangements for a domestic violence advocate to attend.

"Domestic violence is so common now days, people don't realize how common it is," Green said. "She died of domestic violence. It's a serious matter."

-- Paula Horton: 509-582-1556; phorton@tricityherald.com

  Comments