Charges: Murdered Kirkland woman left a warning

SEATTLE -- Amy Hargrove practically predicted her own murder.

The 28-year-old Kirkland woman, killed in January, filed a restraining order against the father of her child, saying, "A piece of paper isn't going to save my life when he finally gets me but at least you will know who killed me."

But she let him back him into her and their son's life -- despite the no-contact order -- about November last year. Texts Hargrove sent to her mother indicated she regretted the decision.

On Jan. 6, her mother found her dead on her bed, bruised and cold to the touch.

Now Burrell Cushman, 28, is charged with second-degree murder in King County Superior Court. The charges filed Tuesday fixed his bail at $1.5 million.

After Hargrove's mother found her body in the 9400 block of Northeast 130th Place in Kirkland, responding police found a "red hot" pan on the stove in a kitchen covered in cooking oil from floor to ceiling. Hargrove's body was partially covered with a blanket that was draped over a space heater set on high next to the bed, according to the affidavit. Police found no evidence that anyone broke into the home.

Cushman had called his mother the previous afternoon, crying and upset about an ongoing fight between he and Hargrove. The two spent the weekend together and left their son in the care of Cushman's mother.

"Mom, I got a bad feeling about tonight," he reportedly told his mother.

The King County Medical Examiner's Office determined Hargrove died of asphyxia due to strangulation in an apparent homicide.

Judging from interviews with friends, relatives and acquaintances of Hargrove, Cushman was the last person known to be with her before her death.

But she had left several clues about the danger she believed Cushman posed to her. In addition to the no-contact order, she told Cushman's mother that she regretted getting back together with him.

"I cannot stand up for myself of get away from him now without a major disaster," she texted Cushman's mother, according to the affidavit.

"I'm scared that I'm not going to live through this once hell (sic) kill me," she wrote.

Cushman was arrested shortly after the discovery of Hargrove's body. He admitted he had spent the weekend with her, thereby violating the restraining order, but denied ever hurting her.

However, he wasn't arrested in connection with Cushman's murder until Thursday.

He also is the subject of a domestic assault investigation and is a three-time convicted felon. His convictions include third-degree assault, first-degree negligent driving and attempting to elude law enforcement.