‘Extremely Disturbing’: Man Asked for Cigarette Before Stabbing Chehalis Murder Victim, Assaulting 12-Year-Old 

Judge Withholds Bail for Suspect Billy J. Bartlett


A Lewis County Superior Court judge has approved a no-bail hold for the Amanda Park man accused of fatally stabbing a 46-year-old man and injuring a 12-year-old in Chehalis on Monday. 

Washington state law allows a judge to deny bail to defendants charged with a capital offense — in this case, first-degree murder — which Judge J. Andrew Toynbee elected to do on Tuesday, granting a motion made by the prosecutor’s office to hold Billy J. Bartlett, 30. 

“The facts that are alleged and are argued in the state’s brief warrant a hold without bail,” Toynbee said. 

Chehalis police officers first responded to reports of a stabbing outside the Get-n-Go in the 600 block of North National Avenue at 7:47 p.m. on Monday. 

Bartlett had allegedly approached the adult victim — referred to only as W.A.F. in court documents — who was in a van at the gas pump outside the store with his two children, a 12-year-old and a 4-year-old, and asked for a cigarette. After he received the cigarette, Bartlett allegedly opened the van door and, according to the 12-year-old, “appeared to be punching W.A.F.” 

Officers discovered the “punches” were actually Bartlett stabbing W.A.F., according to court documents. The victim has not yet been officially identified by the Lewis County Coroner’s Office. 

Bartlett reportedly walked away from the van and the adult victim started driving the van away from the gas pump, with the car ultimately coming to rest outside the nearby Ocean Sky Restaurant, where officers found them. 

Both were transported to Providence Centralia Hospital. The 12-year-old was treated for lacerations and was released, but W.A.F. died from his injuries. 

The 4-year-old was not injured, according to the Chehalis Police Department. 

After the stabbing, Bartlett reportedly went into the Get n Go “with a cigarette in his mouth and bought a Gatorade,” according to court documents. 

Blood could reportedly be seen on Bartlett when he entered the store. 

The description witnesses gave of the stabbing suspect matched that of a man who was reportedly seen “stabbing himself in the arm with a pair of scissors” on a stranger’s porch earlier that evening, according to court documents. 

Chehalis police officers, with help from officers with the Centralia Police Department, the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office and the Washington State Patrol, were conducting a search of the area when, at approximately 8:38 p.m., they received a call about a suspect matching Bartlett’s description trying to break into an apartment complex in the 100 block of Northeast Boistfort Street, where officers were able to arrest him. 

He was booked into the Lewis County Jail at 11:43 p.m. on Dec. 20, according to jail records. He has since been charged with first-degree murder and first-degree assault of a child. 

He is additionally accused of acting with “deliberate cruelty” toward both victims and displaying “an egregious lack of remorse,” according to court documents. 

Deputy Prosecutor Joe Bassetti referenced what he called “the extremely disturbing facts of this case” as well as Bartlett’s criminal history, which includes multiple assault convictions, when asking the court to withhold bail for Bartlett’s case. 

Bartlett was most-recently released from jail on Nov. 9, 2021, and was on probation when the alleged incident occurred. 

Defense attorney Rachael Tiller deferred argument against the no-bail hold to attorney Chris Baum, who will be representing Bartlett as the case continues. 

His next court date is an arraignment hearing scheduled for Jan. 6.