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Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Man charged with killing Western student pleads not guilty

Defendant Zachary Craven was arraigned Thursday morning, July 23, on charges of two counts of murder in the first degree of Western Washington University student Meagan Elizabeth Smith and Craven’s grandmother Angelika Hayden. The arraignment was held downtown Seattle at King County Superior Court.

Craven entered a not-guilty plea to all the charges, Dan Donohoe, media relations manager of the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s office, said in an email. The next course of action for the case will be a setting hearing on Tuesday, Sept. 22.

Craven is also facing a charge of assault in the second degree, and his bail is set at $5 million.

Smith was found dead in a house in Renton on the night of Tuesday, July 7. She was housesitting for her friend Theresa Cunningham, who had been dating Craven periodically since 2012, according to Craven’s court case document.

According to a statement from Cunningham retrieved from a court document, Cunningham relayed numerous accounts of assault and threats she received from Craven. Court documents also stated that Craven had a history of abuse toward Cunningham.

Earlier this year on Friday, June 26, Craven was convicted of a domestic violence charge against Hayden.

In 2013, Craven was convicted of domestic violence and DUI charges for threatening and assaulting Hayden. After sentencing for this case, he was required to seek out treatment but failed to follow court orders. Craven was previously convicted of an animal cruelty in the second degree for stabbing Hayden’s cat to death the same year.

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