By Mike De Felice
Special to Kitsap Daily News
PORT ORCHARD – A Bremerton man fearing his girlfriend was going to tell authorities he repeatedly violated a no-contact order between the two, allegedly stabbed the woman to death, and has now has pleaded not guilty to aggravated first-degree murder, according to court documents.
Michael Robert Mathwig, Jr., 38, entered a plea of not guilty Monday in Kitsap County Superior Court. Judge Tina Robinson ordered the man to be held without bail.
Mathwig had been with the victim, Stacy Lynn Hansen, 40, at his residence on the day she was killed, according to a statement of probable cause. After Hansen showed Mathwig surveillance that she collected showing him with her in violation of the order, a fight broke out between the couple, according to court filings.
The defendant begged his girlfriend to leave, and she refused unless she had “the evidence” she had collected on him — video recordings on a thumb drive. She threatened to take the recordings to the police and report everything, police said.
He then picked up a knife from the nightstand and hit Hansen in the throat two to three times, Mathwig told detectives, according to the report.
After killing her, police said, Mathwig took the thumb drive containing the recordings and drove to his mother’s house where he took her car and cell phone, then drove away without an explanation.
A week later, the vehicle Mathwig was driving was captured on an automatic license plate reader in Red Bluff, California. Bremerton police contacted the Red Bluff Police Department and asked detectives to check for the vehicle.
A short time later, California authorities located the car Mathwig was driving and attempted to stop and arrest him. He tried to evade the police but drove into a parking lot and found himself blocked in, according to court paperwork.
Bremerton detectives traveled to Red Bluff and interviewed Mathwig in the Tahama County jail.
The suspect said after he was shown the recordings by Hansen, he begged her to leave his house, but she refused to do so without the recordings, according to detectives. He reportedly told police, “If she left, I was going to go to prison forever!”
An autopsy of the victim indicated she died of homicidal violence, including multiple sharp force instrument injuries to the neck, police said. She also suffered several injuries to her hands and arms indicative of “defensive wounds,” according to the probable cause statement.
Mathwig’s next court date is an omnibus hearing on Oct. 1.