Prosecutors say a Washougal man accused of stabbing his wife to death early Tuesday morning held off on attacking her until police arrived at the couple’s apartment.
Robert W. Burdick, 56, had told an emergency dispatcher, “I want you guys to come here and shoot me,” police said.
He appeared Wednesday morning in Clark County Superior Court to face a single allegation of first-degree domestic violence murder in the death of 49-year-old Linda Burdick. Judge David Gregerson set his bail at $2 million.
Robert Burdick entered the courtroom wearing a suicide-prevention smock, given to inmates who may try to harm themselves with standard jail clothing, and was separated from the other inmates. His court-appointed defense attorney, Louis Byrd Jr., reserved his client’s right to argue for a lower bail amount until a later hearing.
Senior Deputy Prosecutor Anna Klein said Burdick has a limited criminal record but argued he is a danger to the public in asking for the high bail.
“Mr. Burdick requested suicide by police,” Klein told the judge, adding that Burdick waited to stab his wife until police were on scene, and she was yelling for help.
Family members of the couple filled the courtroom for the hearing. They declined to speak with The Columbian and asked for privacy.
Burdick called 911 at 2:05 a.m. Tuesday from an apartment complex in the 600 block of West Lookout Ridge Drive. He said he was armed with butcher knives and was holding his wife hostage in their home, according to a Washougal Police Department news release.
Court records say he told the dispatcher that he’d been drinking and wanted police to shoot him.
Linda Burdick’s mother also called 911 and said her daughter had called her saying Robert Burdick was holding her hostage in a bedroom with knives in the room, a probable cause affidavit states.
Officers responded to the couple’s residence and spotted a light shining from the window of the third-story apartment. Linda Burdick opened the window and yelled for help as officers approached the building. Robert Burdick, who was holding a knife over his head, pulled her away, police said.
“At this time, both parties appeared to be uninjured as far as officers could tell,” the affidavit reads.
Police kicked in the front door of the Burdicks’ apartment and yelled for anyone inside to come out. No one answered, according to the affidavit.
When they entered the apartment, officers heard Linda Burdick yelling for help. The officers were ascending a flight of stairs inside when Robert Burdick appeared at the top of the staircase with his hands up, court records say.
He was “covered in blood. Robert was directed to the floor where he was placed into handcuffs,” the affidavit reads.
Two officers headed into a bedroom where they found Linda Burdick lying on a bed with stab wounds to her arms, chest and neck. She was unable to speak, and going in and out of consciousness, according to the affidavit. Police noted there was a bloody knife near her.
Linda Burdick died shortly before 7 a.m. Tuesday at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center in Vancouver after undergoing emergency surgery.
Medics also took Robert Burdick to the hospital when officers discovered he had a small stab wound on his chest. Detectives tried to speak to him but he “invoked his Miranda rights” and refused, the affidavit says.
However, while en route to the Clark County Jail, he asked, “Am I being arrested for attempted murder?” The court document does not say whether the officer responded.