Police: Rock Hill native stabbed to death by son in Wash.

The OlympianSeptember 26, 2013 

A judge found probable cause to order Tyler Lewis, 30, held on suspicion of first-degree murder and first-degree assault with a deadly weapon during a court hearing Tuesday.

— A Rock Hill native was stabbed to death by her son earlier this week in Olympia, Wash., police say.

Frankie Austin, 59, and her dog were killed Monday in a brutal attack at her home. According to court papers, her son Tyler Lewis, 30, told detectives he stabbed his mother multiple times with a screwdriver “after a small argument with her.”

Lewis said he then went to the home of a 67-year-old friend and former neighbor, and stabbed him multiple times, also with a screwdriver, Thurston County Sheriff's Sgt. Ray Brady said Tuesday. The 67-year-old victim, who uses a wheelchair to get around, was in critical condition on life support at Providence St. Peter Hospital.

Lewis' stepfather discovered Austin dead in the garage after returning to their home Monday afternoon.

Lewis was arrested about 4 p.m. Monday driving around in the Foxhall Drive neighborhood where his mother was found dead. He was taken into custody by Thurston County sheriff's deputies who were looking for him and pulled over his pickup after his deceased mother was discovered.

Thurston County Superior Court Pro Tem Judge Richard Strophy set Lewis' bail at $2 million during Tuesday's court hearing. Strophy said that Lewis will not be allowed to post his $2 million bail until after he has a “safe to be at large evaluation” that determines his release would not be a danger to himself or others. The evaluation will be conducted by a mental health professional in the next two weeks, Strophy said.

Lewis showed no visible emotion in court until Strophy asked Lewis whether he was considering hiring an attorney. “I haven't even been allowed a phone call, so I don't know at this time,” Lewis said. Lewis was represented during Tuesday's court hearing by public defender James Shackleton.

Brady has said that during Lewis' interviews with detectives, he has shown very little emotion over his mother's death and his former neighbor's stabbing. Brady also confirmed that Lewis told them he killed his mother's corgi Monday. The dog was found dead of blunt force trauma in a compost bin at Austin's home.

Austin's family released a written statement on Tuesday through the prosecutor's office. “We the family of Frankie Austin are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of our mother, grandmother and wife,” reads the statement. “We are devastated beyond words.”

A local memorial service for Austin will be held at 6 p.m. Friday at Grace Church of the Nazarene, 1029 Mt. Gallant Road, in Rock Hill.

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