Man accused of murdering mother held on $1M bail

A judge found probable cause existed to believe he committed murder in the first degree.

A 32-year-old Freeland man accused of murdering his mother walked to a nearby boat-building facility with blood-covered hands on Nov. 17 and said he wanted to report a crime he committed, according to court documents.

Justin Wiener later told a deputy that he originally planned to commit suicide after killing 53-year-old Brenda Wiener, but he instead decided he was going to accept whatever “is coming my way,” according to a report by a deputy with the Island County Sheriff’s Office.

Wiener made a telephonic preliminary appearance in Island County Superior Court Nov. 20. Judge Carolyn Cliff found probable cause existed to believe he committed murder in the first degree, a domestic violence crime. She set his bail at $1 million.

The motive for the crime is unclear but may have involved mental health issues. Cliff ruled that if Wiener posts bail he should first be interviewed by a mental health professional for possible commitment to a mental treatment facility before being released.

Just after 10:40 a.m., an employee at Nichols Brothers Boat Builders reported to emergency dispatchers that a man showed up at the facility on Cameron Road in Freeland and said he wanted to report that he committed a crime. The man, identified as Wiener, had blood on his hands and pants, according to a deputy’s report.

The deputy arrived to find Wiener sitting cross-legged on the ground with his hands on his knees, palms up. He told the deputy that he had a garbage bag in his pocket because he was planning on committing suicide but decided that was “stupid” and that he was just going to accept the consequences.

Wiener explained to the deputy that he lives in a trailer on Myrtle Avenue with his mother and his father lives in a tent in the back. Court records indicate that his parents filed for divorce in Snohomish County in 2015.

When the deputy asked about the blood on his hands, Wiener started to cry and said “there’s no one on the face of the world he loves more” than his mother, the report states.

Wiener eventually admitted that his mother was dead. After being read his Miranda rights, he told the deputy that he wanted to give his mother the most painless death possible. He said he first grabbed his mother’s neck and tried to break it, but he wasn’t strong enough and tried to strangle her instead, the report states. He then stabbed her and cut her throat, the deputy wrote, and then threw the knives into the garbage.

Deputies who responded to the trailer found his mother on the ground in a pool of blood. A deputy attempted CPR, but she was later confirmed to be dead. Her injuries were consistent with Wiener’s description, the report states.

Wiener has no felony criminal record.

Justin Wiener is not related to Joshua Wiener, an Oak Harbor man arrested earlier this year on suspicion of kidnapping and child rape, according to the sheriff’s office.