Relief of not having to go to trial, and exposing the children and the family of 25-year-old Lael Hyvonen who was killed by her common-law husband last summer on June 10th 20-year-old Chandler Meade came yesterday as notification went out of a guilty plea.
Hoquiam Police Chief Myers said in a statement that he received word from the Grays Harbor County Prosecutor Katie Svoboda that Meade had plead guilty to the charges.
Yesterday afternoon, Grays Harbor County Prosecutor Katie Svoboda advised HPD that Chandler Meade, age 25, formerly living in the 800 block of Perry Ave, entered a guilty plea to first-degree murder with firearms enhancement.
Meade admitted he shot and killed his common-law wife, Lael Hyvonen, age 25, in front of their young children on June 10, 2017. He will be sentenced on November 3rd.
The firearm was recovered at the scene; Meade was located and arrested the same day at a relative's house in Central Park by the Grays Harbor County Sheriff's Office.
Thankfully the children will not have to testify against their father with the guilty plea; we hope they receive the counseling and assistance they will need now and in the future.
The investigation indicated there had been a long history of domestic abuse; detectives theorized Hyvonen was attempting to leave Meade. Meade did not provide a statement to detectives.
This guilty plea closes this chapter of this case, but it will never provide closure for the family of the victim, the family of the suspect, or the children who had to witness this unspeakable crime committed against their mother by their father.
Unfortunately, domestic violence is a reality for many in our community- here and around the country. There is help out there, but it is often very hard to break the pattern. As family, friends, and neighbors, we all need to listen and reach out to those who are struggling with domestic abuse.
In our county, we have an excellent resource in the Domestic Violence Center of Grays Harbor. Advocates are available by phone 24/7 at 360-538-0733. The DV Center is located at 2306 Sumner Ave in Hoquiam.
Everyone can make a difference.