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.