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

SPOKANE, Wash. - 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.


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