Bond set at $1 million for man accused of killing girlfriend

Bond set at $1 million for man accused of killing girlfriend
Kootenai Co.
Joseph Scheel was arrested on murder charges after a woman was found dead in a Spokane apartment. 

A judge set bond at $1 million for a man accused of killing his girlfriend.

Joseph Scheel, 28, was charged with first-degree murder on Thursday after authorities found his girlfriend, 47-year-old Edna Patricia Hernandez, stabbed to death in their Spokane apartment.

His first appearance was scheduled for last Friday, but he refused to appear before a judge. A court clerk told KXLY that he was later forced from his cell to make his first appearance. This happened after regulary scheduled first appearances.*

On Wednesday, authorities responded to Scheel and Hernandez’s apartment after the woman did not show up for work. Spokane County Sheriff’s Office deputies were asked to complete a welfare check on Hernandez and tried to contact her three times over the course of two days.

When deputies arrived at the apartment on Wednesday, they were contronted by Scheel, who was being uncooperative.

A deeper search of the apartment led deputies to find Hernandez’s body. On Friday, the Spokane County Medical Examiner ruled Hernandez’s death a homicide.

* Correction: A previous version of this story said Hernandez was expected to appear in court Monday.

Catch up on the day’s news and look ahead to tomorrow by signing up for the Daily Local email newsletter from KXLY4. Headlines, events, and staff picks every weeknight at 8 p.m. Sign up HERE to get your news on the D.L.