Charges filed against man accused of torturing, killing severely autistic teen

SEATTLE (AP) — A 42-year-old Washington man accused of torturing and killing his former girlfriend's severely autistic son nearly a year ago has been charged with homicide by abuse and second-degree murder.

The Seattle Times reports ( that a judge on Thursday increased bail for Matt Christenson to $1.5 million in light of the new charges linking him to the April 2014 death of 18-year-old Otto Smith.

The man has been jailed since December on assault and harassment charges, accused of beating another of the woman's sons, who is 14.

Court papers say that shortly before Christmas, the woman arrived by ambulance at a Tacoma hospital, claiming to be a kidnap victim before saying she was trying to flee an abusive relationship with Christenson.

Prosecutors say she told a social worker that Christenson killed the older boy and she helped him cover up the crime.

In charging papers, Christenson is accused of pulling the 18-year-old out of an ice bath, binding his legs and arms, shoving a sock in his mouth and wrapping his head in duct tape.