Burrell Michael Cushman is escorted into King County Superior Court on the first day of his trial for the murder of Kirkland resident Amy Hargrove. Reporter file photo

Cushman guilty of second-degree murder charge in Kirkland woman’s death

Burrell Michael Cushman was convicted of second-degree murder in the death of Kirkland resident Amy Hargrove and a felony violation of a court order charge today in King County Superior Court.

Burrell Michael Cushman was convicted of second-degree murder in the death of Kirkland resident Amy Hargrove and a felony violation of a court order charge today in King County Superior Court.

The jury returned its verdict exactly one month after pretrial hearings began on June 14.

Cushman was found guilty of strangling his ex-girlfriend, Hargrove, to death on Jan. 5, 2014 in an apartment attached to her mother’s house. He also faced a first-degree arson charge for which he was found not guilty.

Prosecutors made the case that Cushman had violated a restraining order against Hargrove prior to the murder, which Hargrove had filed against him in 2013 following a tumultuous relationship. He admitted when questioned the day after the murder that he had broken this restraining order and was subsequently arrested.

They also convinced jurors that Cushman had strangled Hargrove in her bed, likely following a day they had spent together.

When Hargrove’s mother found the body and notified police, they also found the kitchen doused in cooking oil and a burner on the stove left on beneath a pan filled with oil. This led prosecutors to seek the first-degree arson charge.

DNA matching Cushman’s was found under Hargrove’s fingernails and Cushman admitted to being at the apartment during the hour prosecutors said Hargrove was murdered.

Hargrove’s mother also testified during the trial that she had witnessed Cushman violently punch her daughter prior to the murder.

The apartment’s doors were unlocked when Hargrove was found by her mother.

Cushman will be sentenced at 1:30 p.m. on Aug. 26 in King County Superior Court.

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