Wednesday, January 26, 2005

All In The Family

Kirkland, Washington, home to the Seattle Seahawks of the NFL, sees a little violence off the field too:

The fatal shooting of a Kirkland man and his mother's arrest in an alleged murder-for-hire plot last weekend had nothing to do with each other, police said yesterday.

But together, police said, they made up the latest sad chapter in a family with a history of running afoul of the law.

"It's unfortunate coincidence," said Kirkland police Lt. Gene Markle.

Nicholas Coan, 28, was shot Friday night by his 27-year-old girlfriend during the latest of the couple's many arguments, police and witnesses said. The girlfriend was apparently angry that Coan had brought home a .40-caliber pistol and hadn't told her where he had been.

So, police said, Coan cocked the pistol and handed it to her. She took it and fired, perhaps not knowing it was loaded, police and court documents say.

Coan "looked at me and said, 'I can't believe she shot me,' " said Coan's roommate, Mathew Mitchell, who called 911 and used a towel to try to stop the bleeding.

Meanwhile, Coan's mother, Elizabeth Coan, 45, was arrested Sunday in a separate case and charged yesterday with solicitation of first-degree murder, solicitation of first-degree assault and solicitation of malicious placement of an explosive. She was also charged with two counts of solicitation of witness tampering, a gross misdemeanor.

According to King County prosecutors, Elizabeth Coan had asked Nicholas Coan to arrange the killing or intimidation of five witnesses in her pending identity-theft case.

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