A 50-year-old man suspected in a Sept. 16 killing near Yelm pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder Tuesday morning in Thurston County Superior Court.
Tony A. Bolton was arrested shortly after the death of Ross E. Yardley, and is being held in the Thurston County Accountability and Restitution Center in lieu of $1 million bail.
At the Tuesday morning hearing, Judge Mary Sue Wilson scheduled his trial for the week of Nov. 16.
Court documents give the following account of the events leading to Bolton’s arrest:
On Sept. 16, Thurston County sheriff’s deputies responded to reports of stabbing near Yelm. When they arrived, a woman ran toward them, screaming that “Tony” had stabbed her boyfriend.
Deputies located a man, later identified as Bolton, lying in the grass, a short distance from the house. Bolton stood up and walked toward the house, warning deputies not to follow him.
He entered the home, but exited a short time later and was arrested.
The victim, Yardley, was found dead on the porch.
The victim’s girlfriend told deputies that Yardley and Bolton knew each other from prison. Yardley had been allowing Bolton to stay on his property. She said that she had been concerned about Bolton, and asked Yardley to have him leave the property.
She said Yardley and Bolton may have argued. She saw Yardley walk into the kitchen, holding his chest and saying, “Tony stabbed me.”
She said she grabbed her keys to take Yardley to the hospital, but he collapsed on the porch.
A detective reported that Bolton talked to himself while he was being driven to jail.
“Today was a good day,” he said. “I’m a good, God-fearing man.”
He also said, “They took $300 of mine and that caused problems.”