“I killed her.” Pierce County man accused of killing ex-wife appears in court

“I killed her.” Pierce County man accused of killing ex-wife appears in court

A Pierce County man threatened to kill his ex-wife multiple times during and after their marriage before she was found dead Friday, according to charging documents.

Prosecutors have charged Ronald Eugene Krier, 53, with the first-degree murder of his ex-wife, a 53-year-old woman found dead in her Bonney Lake home Friday.

A not guilty plea was entered on Krier’s behalf at his arraignment Monday. Pierce County Superior Court Commissioner Philip Thornton set his bail at $2 million.

Krier was also charged with stalking after his ex-wife previously accused him of threatening to kill her. She told detectives in June 2023 that she served him divorce papers and he then confronted her, saying he was going to kill her, charging documents show.

Krier’s bail was set at $50,000 for the criminal harassment charge.

Ronald Krier appears in Pierce County Superior Court in Tacoma, Washington, on Monday, July 8, 2024, for his arraignment on first-degree murder charges in the July 5 killing of his ex-wife in Bonney Lake.

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Krier’s daughter reported to 911 at 3:32 p.m. that her father had sent her a message saying he had killed her mother. He allegedly said he had unlocked the front door of her mother’s home so medical personnel could find her, prosecutors wrote.

Detectives then received text messages that allegedly said:

  • “Your mother is dead, yes I did, call your brother so he doesn’t come home and find her, she’s dead and she will be soon.”

  • “I left the door unlocked so the medics could take him away. I need the Titans’ phone out of your truck.”

  • “Your mother is dead, I killed her.”

  • “I’m leaving for Alaska. Your mother is dead, she’s alive, sorry, she talked too much about her boyfriend, I lost him.”

Pierce County officers were dispatched to the victim’s home, located in the 20300 block of East 113th Street, for a welfare check. The woman’s vehicle was still parked in the driveway. Officers found the woman lying on her back in the living room when they entered the home. She was pronounced deceased at the scene, prosecutors wrote.

Prosecutors wrote that there were several partially melted ice cubes scattered nearby.

Officers noticed a small abrasion on her neck. There was dried blood on her right shoulder and inner thigh. Her hair was sticking out from her head as if she had been dragged. A later autopsy showed she may have been strangled, prosecutors wrote.

Surveillance footage taken from the front door of the woman’s home shows her on her porch when Krier backed into the driveway at 2:35 p.m., the documents state. At 2:57 p.m., the woman was holding a cup that officers found inside the home with ice cubes scattered around. The woman and Krier are heard arguing in the footage before he followed her inside the home.

Krier was seen leaving the house at 3:15 p.m. His daughter told deputies she received the text messages from her father at 3:22 p.m., prosecutors wrote.

Auburn police arrested Krier later that day. He appeared to have blood on his shirt and scratches on his cheeks and chest, prosecutors wrote. Krier reportedly told officers, “At least the (expletive) is dead.”

Krier reportedly made several statements about the scratches, saying, “You can see it on my face where she attacked me. She (explicitly) put me forward. She put her thumb in my eye and everything.”

Detectives learned that the woman had obtained a protective order on July 20, 2023, prohibiting Krier from contacting her. Law enforcement investigated Krier’s multiple violations of that protective order between July 14, 2023, and Sept. 9, 2023, documents show.

Krier contacted the woman via social media and text messages. He allegedly showed up at her job at Safeway, demanding that she put him back on her phone plan after she filed for divorce. When she threatened to call the police, he allegedly told her, “You’re done (explicitly), you’re going to die.”

The woman said Krier allegedly made a slashing gesture to her neck. The woman also told law enforcement that Krier had previously assaulted her and left bruises on her body the week before. He then threatened to kill her as well, prosecutors wrote.

The woman said she feared for her life and believed he would carry out his threat, the documents show.

Krier was charged with second-degree assault and convicted in 2011 after striking the woman in the face with the butt of a rifle. Documents state that Krier told their son at the time: “Give your mother a hug and kiss her goodbye because this is the last time you’ll see her breathe.”

When the son left, Krier allegedly told the woman she was going to die and pulled out his rifle and ammunition. He then fired two shots into the wall above her head. After that, they fought and he allegedly hit her in the face with the gun, prosecutors wrote.

The woman’s outstanding protective order against Krier expired shortly before the homicide, prosecutors wrote.