TACOMA, WA – Today Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist charged Aaron Livingston, 38, with two counts of aggravated murder in the first degree and one count of attempted murder in the first degree for beating two people to death and leaving one for dead. Livingston was arraigned today at 1:30 p.m. and is being held without bail.
On May 22, 2014, Livingston assaulted his girlfriend, Julia Wheeler, 39, and her friend, Andrew Geissler, 25, because he believed the two were in a romantic relationship. Livingston was arrested and booked into the Pierce County Jail. The next morning, the initial police report was reviewed by the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office for possible felony charges. Based on the information available at the time, the assaults did not rise to the level of felony charges and the case was referred to the Tacoma City Attorney for possible misdemeanor charges. The Tacoma City Attorney did not file charges that day. Had Livingston been charged with assault, bail would have been set and he would have been allowed to post bail and leave jail. The booking bail for assault is $1,000. Livingston was released from jail that evening.
After his release, Livingston walked to a local bar and exchanged several text messages with his girlfriend. He then walked several blocks to the home he shared with her. When Livingston arrived at the home, he saw Geissler on the couch and became angry. He retrieved an axe from the back porch and struck Geissler in the head three times. Livingston then walked upstairs to the bedroom, beat his girlfriend with a walking stick and choked her until she was unconscious. He went down to the basement where a family friend, Denyse Marshall, 60, lived. He hit her in the head with a ‘Shake Weight’ before strangling her with electrical cords. Livingston went back up to the living room and found Geissler still breathing. He grabbed a knife from the kitchen and cut Geissler’s throat. Livingston returned to the basement and cut Marshall’s throat as well. He went back to the bedroom with the intention of slitting his girlfriend’s throat, but decided to “leave it in God’s hands” instead. He washed up and left the residence in his car.
About an hour later, Livingston approached Tacoma Police officers in a patrol vehicle and told them he “did some really bad things, hurt some people and needed to go to jail.” Officers responded to the crime scene and found the victims. Livingston was arrested and booked into the Pierce County Jail.
“The only person responsible for these crimes is the defendant,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist, “and he’s been charged with aggravated murder.”
Charges are only allegations and a person is presumed innocent unless he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Communications and Public Information Coordinator
Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office