A 21-year-old Edmonds man has pleaded not guilty in Snohomish County Superior Court to assault charges stemming from a March 23 incident in which he is alleged to have battered his roommate with a baseball bat studded with nails and screws. The beating left the 48-year-old victim unconscious with what doctors describe as “skull fractures, fractured nasal bones and brain hemorrhaging.”
The incident began with a 911 call from Cheryl McCoy, the alleged assailant’s mother, reporting that her son Ryan McCoy had assaulted their roommate, Michael Parnell, with a baseball bat to the head. According to police reports she said that Parnell was “unconscious and bleeding profusely.”
Responding to the residence in the 21200 block of 80th Avenue West, Edmonds police found Parnell lying on the floor with “blood oozing from the back of his head” amid scattered “blood and tissue.” According to the police report, the victim was “conscious, but staring vacantly.” After stabilizing him at the scene, emergency responders transported him to the Harborview Trauma Center.
Told by his mother that McCoy and his girlfriend, Rion Lofgren, had just left on foot, police units launched a search and promptly apprehended the couple a few blocks away.
According to charging papers, Cheryl McCoy told police that her son and his girlfriend were both active methamphetamine users, and that she had observed “needles and paraphernalia” in Ryan’s room. She also told police that her son had argued with Parnell earlier in the day and said “he’d better watch out.” She further reported that she heard the assault from another room, and that in her opinion the sound “was obviously not from a fist” but sounded more like a bat.
After obtaining a warrant, officers searched the defendant’s room and found a variety of evidence including a homemade shotgun, clubs, and multiple bats with embedded screws protruding from them. A black-and-orange painted bat studded with screws was located in a laundry hamper where Lofgren, who admitted witnessing the assault, said the defendant threw it.
Regaining consciousness later that evening, Parnell was coherent enough to speak with police at the hospital. He reported arguing with McCoy over money missing from the victim’s coin jar, and that this led to McCoy “charging into his room wielding a baseball bat spiked with nails,” the last thing he recalls before waking up in the hospital.
Charged with second-degree assault, McCoy was arraigned on April 14. He pleaded not guilty and remains in the Snohomish County Jail in lieu of $150,000 bail. His trial is set for June 3.
— By Larry Vogel