No suicide; wife charged with murder

A South Kitsap woman has been charged with suspicion of first-degree murder of her husband after police say she staged his suicide.

Colleen Jean Bergeron, 70, had been married to the victim, William Bergeron, since 2019 until he was found dead at their Manchester home Oct. 27. A 911 call was placed from a neighboring home that Colleen had walked to shortly after his death. She said he had shot himself. Police found him lying on his abdomen with a gun on his right hand, two shell casings and a suicide note.

Kitsap County sheriff’s detectives say evidence points not to a suicide, but to a premeditated murder. Cameras installed in the home allegedly show her carrying the gun into the room where he was found. Court documents says she gripped the gun with a white shirt or towel and also put on latex gloves to minimize fingerprints or DNA left at the scene.

Detectives say she can be seen exiting the room without either the gun or gloves. Further footage shows her walk to the neighbors house 45 minutes later.

As for the suicide note, an expert in handwriting comparison concluded that the document, which said William was of sound mind in his decision to end it and spoke well of Colleen, was also forged.

Other evidence suggests that Colleen was preparing to flee. Not long after William’s death, she listed both their house and car for sale and had a packed RV and horse trailer ready to leave the area.

Detectives confronted Colleen in an hourlong interview Nov. 16. They say her story contains “confusing and contradictory statements about how William was shot.” Police later booked her into the Kitsap County Jail.

Her attorney submitted a not-guilty plea at her arraignment Nov. 17. Bail was set at $10 million after Kitsap County Superior Court Judge Tina Robinson determined there was suitable evidence that Bergeron was trying to flee. Jury trial is set for January 2023.