Downtown Vancouver

Trial: Aggravated murder suspect blames blood-soaked clothes on dead dog

Trial: Aggravated murder suspect blames blood-soaked clothes on dead dog

VANCOUVER, Wash. – Broken and bent knives were found inside his home.

Dennis Wolter was covered in blood, from his boots to his baseball cap.

Yet the Vancouver man maintained to a police officer who stopped his speeding car May 26, 2011, that he wasn’t a murder suspect – that the blood on his clothes came from his dead dog.

Those were the details that police detectives recounted to a Clark County Superior Court jury of six men and six women Thursday in the second day of Wolter’s trial.

Wolter is charged with first-degree aggravated murder in the death of his girlfriend Kori Fredericksen.

A conviction of aggravated murder carries the potential for the death penalty in Washington. However, prosecutors announced last year that they did not plan to pursue capital punishment, but instead, life in prison without the possibility of release.

Opening statements were heard Wednesday afternoon and prosecutors began calling their witnesses to the stand Thursday.

Officers who testified described the hard evidence against Wolter – and his unlikely story. The suspect told a police officer that his dog had been hit and killed while playing fetch and he had taken it to a veterinarian.

“It didn’t seem to come together that that much blood would be on an individual,” said Vancouver police Detective John Ringo.

Meanwhile, while detectives were interrogating Wolter, other officers found Fredericksen’s body down a steep embankment off Old Evergreen Highway.

During the interview, Wolter continued to maintain his ruse about his dead dog. He also complained about his girlfriend, calling her jealous and possessive.

“She blew my phone up with 230 phone calls in a six-hour period,” Wolter said in a recorded interview with police the day of the homicide.

In the interview, the detective asked him how many calls that day: “Today, I’ve gotten about 73,” he said.

Following an earlier domestic violence allegation, a no-contact order had been imposed against Wolter, barring him from contacting Fredericksen.

Wolter is being charged with aggravated murder because he violated the no-contact order in the alleged commission of the crime, prosecutors said.

In opening statements, the defense indicated its plan to pursue a defense of diminished capacity, meaning Wolter could not form intent to kill because of a traumatic brain injury and fetal alcohol syndrome.

The trial is expected to last three weeks.