Tacoma man charged with murder in hammer attack

TACOMA (AP) — Pierce County officials say they've charged a 27-year-old man with murder in a hammer attack involving two people at a Tacoma home.

Nicholas Edward Lane pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges of murder in the first degree and attempted murder in the first degree. Lane is being held on $2 million bail.

Tacoma police were called to a home Tuesday afternoon after receiving a report of a hammer assault.

Officers found 78-year-old Joyce Coffel and her 57-year-old disabled son, Clifford Bennett, with life-threatening injuries. Bennett died at the scene and Coffel was taken to a hospital for treatment.

Lane's mother, who also lives in the home, told police Lane was visiting her at the time.

Pierce County prosecutor Mark Lindquist said in a news release that methamphetamine may have fueled the crime.