White Center Man Charged In Girlfriend’s Death
WHITE CENTER â€“ A White Center man was charged Friday with first-degree manslaughter for the death of his girlfriend, who had muscular dystrophy and relied on him as a live-in caregiver.
Peter E. Gullberg, 41, faces at least 6 1/2 to 8 1/2 years’ imprisonment if convicted. Prosecutors likely would seek an exceptional prison term because the wheelchair-bound victim was especially vulnerable, said Dan Donohoe, King County Prosecutor’s Office spokesman.
Gullberg called 911 Tuesday and reported that his girlfriend, Stephanie Campeau, wasn’t breathing at their 14th Avenue Southwest home. He told sheriff’s deputies that he had struck her on both sides of the head with his hands during an argument, court documents say.
He was arrested and taken to jail, with bail set at $1 million. Gullberg is scheduled for arraignment May 8.
The couple had known each other for 12 years and lived together for the past six. They’ve dated off and on and Gullberg was her paid caregiver, court documents say.
In an interview with detectives, Gullberg said the victim was egging him on by ramming her wheelchair into furniture and running over his toe. She kept shouting: “What are you going to do, hit me? Hit me, just hit me,” court documents say.
“I finally snapped this morning. I did it, I did it,” the defendant allegedly told investigators.
He told detectives he’d lost patience with her during the past few months. After he struck her, he noticed a blood blister forming on her eye but she asked him not to call 911 and went to sleep. When Gullberg realized she wasn’t breathing and turning purple, he called police, court documents say.
Campeau, 34, was taken to Harborview Medical Center, where she died Wednesday from brain injuries, court documents say.
Before Gullberg called 911, he telephoned his mother and a domestic violence crisis line, court documents say.
Gullberg has no prior convictions but had been arrested before on suspicion of assaulting Campeau, court documents say.