Fifteen-year-old Boy Scout and lacrosse jock Taylor Hammel is said to have shown no emotion when he was arraigned for murder and arson last Friday. Now prosecutors have filed paperwork arguing that the teen be charged as an adult for beating and stabbing his mom Sharon Hammel to death, then setting their home on fire. Meanwhile, the townsfolk of Friday Harbor are simultaneously mourning Sharon's death and raising money for Taylor's defense.
As reported by The Seattle Times, the crime allegedly happened April 3 on Park Street on the west side of town. When firefighters originally responded to the blaze and found Sharon dead inside, it was assumed she'd died of smoke inhalation.
It was later, after an autopsy, when the nine stab wounds and evidence of bludgeoning and strangulation were found, that it became clear that she was dead well before the house was set alight, police say.
Police say Taylor Hammel, 15, killed his mom, then set the house on fire.
But between the time of Sharon's death and the autopsy's revaluations, police say they found a bloody T-shirt in a clothes hamper and a note written by Taylor in which, according to court documents, "He expressed his anger toward her, asked her for her forgiveness and said he hoped she would still love him 'even in the after life.'"
Taylor was arrested shortly after that. He was busy bowling when they found him.
Now prosecutors are saying the motive for Taylor killing his mom was simple anger over her taking away his TV privileges.
Sharon Hammel was a "master gardener" who worked for the Friday Harbor Parks & Rec department.
Meanwhile, the town of Friday Harbor--many residents of which have been posting on a memorial Facebook page for Sharon--have actually been helping her son as well. A charity has been set up to raise money for his defense.
It's a rather touching gesture. Although one can't help but wonder if it would be replicated for a boy three years older than Taylor.
Now it's up to a judge whether the teen should face big-boy charges that could put him in prison for 20-plus years, or keep it kid-strength with juvenile filings that can't keep him locked up past age 21.