The Seattle man accused of the murder and dismemberment of Ingrid Lyne entered a not guilty plea on Wednesday. John Robert Charlton presented in front of King County Judge Julie Spector in a jailhouse jumpsuit despite the request of his public defenders that he be allowed to appear in civilian clothes. His attorneys also requested that his face not be shown to the media any longer as it could jeopardize his right to a fair trial. However, Charlton’s rather friendly face has been all over the media, and it’s hard to reconcile that the smiling 37-year-old Seattle man seen in the photos could be responsible for the heinous murder. Not all murders come with warning labels.
Ingrid Lyne was a 40-year-old nurse and single mother of three children. She had met Charlton, 37, online. Charlton said they had been dating about a month. On April 8, the couple went to a Seattle Mariners game and then afterwards to a bar where his sister works. He said he stayed the night with Lyne but told police he was too drunk to remember much. He said they “probably had sex” and then he claims to have spent Saturday and Sunday with an ex-girlfriend though she told authorities he arrived late on Saturday telling her “something had come up.” Charlton told police that he is homeless and has a drinking problem. He is also accused of stealing Lyne’s car. Charlton had injuries on his face and chest consistent with a struggle.
Lyne was reported missing on April 9 by her ex-husband. He said that her purse and cell phone were at her home, but no one could find her. A Seattle resident made the gruesome discovery of human remains in his recycling bin. Seattle police got a search warrant for her home on April 10. In her bathroom, they found a 15-inch pruning saw and an empty box of garbage bags identical to the ones in which her remains were found, according to Radar Online. Crime scene investigators found blood and tissue in the bathtub plumbing. It was apparent that the murder took place in her own home.
John Robert Charlton was arrested on April 12. Police accuse Charlton of committing the murder then dismembering her in her bathroom. They say the man then disposed of her remains in Seattle, just a couple of miles from where they had watched the Seattle Mariners play on Friday. Lyne’s remains have not been fully recovered as of yet, but so far, there have been three different locations. The first discovered remains included Lyne’s head, an arm with a hand, and a lower leg and foot.
King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg made a statement regarding the suspect.
“The tragic murder of Ingrid Lyne has left a family and community in a spiral of grief and anguish. We may never understand why she was killed but the police and prosecutors working on this case have done a tremendous job of piecing together a solid case against the person we believe to be responsible for her death.”
Charlton, who has an extensive criminal history including armed robbery and felony theft, is accused by his ex-girlfriend of being a “mean drunk,” though she says they never had a physical altercation. Charlton’s own parents accused him of being drunk and argumentative in 2006 and requested a restraining order against him, according to the Associated Press. He showed the movie, Hannibal, to his mother and told her to watch it and “beware.” He told his parents he was stressed and feeling mentally unstable. They later reconciled. His parents were at the arraignment on Wednesday to support their son.
Judge Spector increased Charlton’s bail from $2 million to $5 million. If convicted of second degree murder, he could get a sentence of 21 to 28 years. Charlton is expected back in court on May 11. The Lyne family did not make any comments to the press at the Seattle courthouse.
[Photo by Ted S. Warren/Associated Press]