The suspect in a Seattle murder last week had just been placed on an electronic home detention program by King County authorities.
Michael Sean Thompson was fitted with an ankle monitoring bracelet on May 19. He was supposed to leave the King County Adult Detention office in Seattle and continue setting up the monitoring hardware at a Seattle home.
He never made it.
“He failed to return to his residence,” said Captain Troy Bacon of the King County Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention.
The county issued an escape notice for Thompson, but only located him after the report of a bizarre crime.
Thompson is suspected of pushing a shopping cart around south Seattle that contained the body of a man who had been stabbed to death. Thompson has been arrested for investigation of homicide and booked in the King County jail.
“It’s just appalling the people that are put over in electronic home detention. It’s not the kind of people it was meant for,” said Randy Weaver of the King County Corrections Guild. The union that represents more than 500 jail officers said Thompson’s case is typical of those they are seeing more and more of -- violent offenders released on electronic home detention.
“Out of California, he did time for rape with a deadly weapon and he has a number of charges here,” Weaver said of Thompson. “He’s not the kind of person, with that kind of history, that should be on electronic home detention.”
Weaver said his union has recorded dozens of “escapes” from home detention and work release programs each year. He said the county is sending more felons to these programs to save money on the cost of jail.
“Those programs were designed with the right intentions, but the wrong people are being put in them,” said Weaver.
In a continuing series of investigations called Home Free, the KING 5 investigators have revealed holes in the GPS monitoring and home detention programs of several Washington counties.
Lawmakers are planning to hold a work session in June to discuss legislation that could provide basic standards for the home monitoring industry. That legislation would likely not be debated until the 2015 session.