Lawyers for Louis Chen this morning entered a plea of not-guilty on two counts of aggravated murder as the 39-year-old doctor stood in a King County Courtroom. Judge Theresa Doyle had earlier denied a motion brought by Chen’s defense team to bar cameras from the courtroom for the arraignment. The legal process will resume with another hearing in November after the judge granted an extension for the defense to gather more evidence to show there is “no basis” for a death sentence in the case.
In the meantime, Chen will be held in King County Jail without bail.
Chen is represented by attorneys Raymond McFarland, Barry Flegenheimer, and Todd Maybrown.
Original Report: Dr. Louis Chen is scheduled to appear in a King County courtroom Monday morning for the first time to face charges that he murdered his partner and their two-year-old son in a bloody rampage inside the couple’s 17th-floor First Hill apartment.
Chen and his lawyers will enter a plea on the two counts of aggravated murder the doctor faces in the deaths of Eric Cooper and Cooper Chen, their child. CHS detailed SPD’s account of the brutal murders here in which Chen is alleged to have stabbed his partner more than 100 times and stabbed his child to death. The bloody scene was discovered by a co-worker on the morning of August 11. SPD’s account includes an alleged confession by the injured Chen as he was whisked to the hospital.
If convicted, the 39-year-old faces life in prison and could face the death penalty. With the Monday morning plea, the clock will start ticking on King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg’s 30-day window to decide whether to seek capital punishment in the case.
UPDATE: The Seattle Times has connected with a friend of Eric Cooper who tells them that the relationship between Cooper and Chen had grown increasingly strained as separation loomed:
Additionally, while the couple had drawn up a legal agreement of separation before they left North Carolina, O’Reilly Ramesar said that Chen, when intoxicated, would threaten to renege on the agreement and “leave Eric out in the cold.”
When O’Reilly Ramesar and Cooper last communicated, on Aug. 9 — the day before Eric Cooper and Cooper Chen were killed — Cooper told his friend that things were getting “really unpleasant at home.”
Cooper was a “writer, a humorist and a champion for bullied kids,” O’Reilly Ramesar said. “He was a wonderful person and he deserves better than being thought of as some gay guy who got killed.”