SEATTLE (AP) — An alleged handwritten confession prompted prosecutors to increase the charges against the man they say killed his girlfriend and posted grisly photos of her body online.
The new evidence shows that David Michael Kalac brutally killed 30-year-old Amber Lynn Coplin with premeditation, said Kitsap County sheriff’s spokesman Scott Wilson. That allowed them to elevate the charges from second-degree murder to first-degree murder, he said.
The new charge includes a domestic violence enhancement and an aggravated circumstance of having “a destructive and foreseeable impact on persons other than the victim.”
Bail was set at $2 million.
Kalac, 33, was arraigned on the charges in Kitsap County Superior Court in Port Orchard, west of Seattle, Friday afternoon. Judge Anna Laurie appointed the county public defender’s office to represent him. Telephone and email messages left at that office were not immediately returned.
When Laurie asked Kalac if he wanted to enter a plea, his lawyer asked to have the plea postponed. The judge agreed and set Kalac’s next court date for Nov. 14.
Earlier in the day, the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office filed a probable cause certificate that detailed the new evidence that supported the tougher charges.
According to the document, when Kalac emerged from the woods near Portland, Oregon, and surrendered Wednesday, Clackamas County deputies found a note that said: “I killed Amanda Coplin. I strangled her with my hands, then a shoelace. I had No reason other than I was Drunk and she pissed me off. Running from the cops was so fun. DK.”
The color of the ink and the writing style were consistent with messages authorities say Kalac left at the crime scene, the sheriff’s document said. It also quoted from notes authorities say Kalac posted online with the images of Coplin. A quote from one site said: “Check the news for port orchard Washington in a few hours. Her son will be home from school soon. He’ll find her, then call the cops. I just wanted to share the pics before they find me.”
Another post said that he learned that she was having an affair with another man and that made him angry.
The sheriff’s document said the Kitsap County coroner’s office had determined the cause of death was “ligature strangulation with blunt force trauma to the head,” and the forensic pathologist said Kalac’s hyoid bone, under the chin, was fractured.
“Based on my training and experience this is consistent with manual strangulation,” Detective Chad Birkenfeld said in the document.