Patient Strangled to Death at Western State Hospital Identified by Medical Examiner


A patient at Western State Hospital in Lakewood who was killed last month at the state psychiatric hospital was identified Tuesday by the Pierce County medical examiner.

Stephen Kellogg, 69, died of strangulation Oct. 28, according to a news release from the Pierce County Medical Examiner's Office. The man's death was ruled a homicide.

The man's roommate was arrested shortly after Kellogg was found in his room with injuries to his face, body and neck with a bite wound to his wrist. The roommate, 51-year-old Jason Day, was charged Nov. 2 with first-degree and second-degree murder in Kellogg's death. According to charging documents, police were told Day and Kellogg had been roommates for about three months, and there were no documented problems between them.

Both men were admitted to Western State Hospital after they were found not guilty of criminal charges by reason of insanity, according to state officials. Kellogg was a patient since 1989, and he was sent there on a first-degree murder charge. His roommate had been at the hospital since 2014 on a first-degree assault charge.

At Day's first court appearance to face charges in his roommate's killing, the murder suspect was ordered to undergo a mental health competency evaluation. A competency hearing was set for Nov. 16. Court records show the man has a violent history.

Lakewood Police Department officers were called to the hospital at about 7:15 p.m. the day of the homicide after West Pierce Fire & Rescue crews initially responded for a report of an unresponsive patient, police said.

A Department of Social and Health Services spokesperson previously told The News Tribune that Kellogg's death occurred in a 15-minute window between when hospital staff makes rounds. According to the probable cause document, hospital staff first learned of the attack when Day walked up to a ward nurse and said the victim was dead.