Tacoma Man Charged with Murder

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Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist charged Daniel Duane Hatch, 54, on Oct. 3 with one count of murder in the second degree. Hatch allegedly stabbed to death Sarah Mercer, 42, during a domestic dispute.

“October is domestic violence awareness month,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. “This case is an unfortunate reminder of how volatile domestic situations can become. Holding offenders accountable, supporting victims, and reducing domestic violence are among our top priorities.”

On Sept. 30, Fife police officers responded to the 4000 block of 61st Avenue East, in Fife, after reports of a domestic violence incident with a weapon involved.

The initial 911 call was placed by Laurel Hatch. She told the dispatcher about an argument with her former roommate, Sarah Mercer. Laurel Hatch said her husband, Daniel Hatch, had stabbed Mercer and that she appeared to be dead.

When officers arrived, they saw Daniel Hatch and Laurel Hatch exit the residence. When the door opened, officers could see Mercer’s body lying face up just inside the front door.

Laurel Hatch told officers that Mercer moved into the residence some time ago. There had been disputes over the rent, and Mercer was moving out.

The afternoon of the stabbing, Mercer had apparently come to pick up her belongings. Laurel and Daniel said they were upstairs when Mercer arrived, and Daniel went downstairs to answer the door.

Laurel described hearing a scuffle and shouting, and she says she saw Daniel and Mercer in a physical altercation. When it was over, Laurel saw Mercer lying on the ground and Daniel Hatch standing next to her. Laurel says she saw blood and a possible wound to Mercer’s chest and there was knife next to her body.

No other weapons found and Mercer appeared to have been unarmed. Daniel Hatch had a small cut on one of his knuckles and a small scratch on the left side of his face.

An autopsy confirmed that Mercer had two stab wounds, one which transected the aorta and the other to her left buttock.

Bail was set at $1,000,000.

Charges are only allegations and a person is presumed innocent unless he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. Mercer was violent. She attacked Hatch. Hatch is a small guy. She would not get off of him. He told her repeatedly to get off of him, but she would not. Hatch stuck her in the ass cheek with his knife, but she still would not stop. By that time his temper was at it’s threshold AND HE STOPPED HER.
    She did not deserve to die, nor does Hatch deserve a long-term prison sentence. He killed her in self defense.
    I am not fooled by the pictures of Mercer giving hugs and what not. The media is tilting the story in her favor; making Hatch look like a cold-blooded killer which he is not. Police and prosecutors need scapegoats like Dan Hatch.

    • Why do you say Mercer was violent? And why are you speaking as if you were there? Sarah has been a very close family friend since before I was born and she was as far from violent as you could get. Every message I have from her and every interaction has ALWAYS been beyond loving and so full of Jesus. It is a tragedy. Her daughter was there to help her move things. She would not have set a bad example for her by being violent.

      Plus, who answers the door with a knife in hand?

      This article is also askew with facts since Laurel has stated in other articles that she was upstairs and didn’t see it happen.

  2. Oh and he just happened to have a 7 inch army knife handy to fend her off did he? What a load of crap, the hatch’s were both troublemakers.

  3. Jay Allbritton, unless you witnessed this attack which resulted in the death of a woman by stabbing, you should keep your opinion to yourself. Violent? Not so much.
    I’ve known Sarah and her family since she was a preteen. A kind, giving and loving person who was full of life and love for people.
    A lot of people who actually knew her will counter your foolish and unknowing comments about her character.
    Her family is going through enough help without you spouting your opinion on what happened. Keep them to yourself. They only do more harm to a grieving family who don’t deserve this treatment from people like you.

  4. If it were a man forcing their way in no one would have blinked an eye. all effort was made for a time to be made for them to pick up their belongings with a police standby. Mercer had made threats and had refused to pay rent or utilities. Hit and run the wife’s car. Was not a good situation.

  5. They had done everything possible to get her to set a time so police could be present and told her no reason to go in house all stuff was in their garage. She hit her roommates car and tried to hide it, didn’t pay rent or utilities,

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