King County prosecutors recently charged a Redmond woman in the murder of her wife on March 29.
Aterraka Janese Scotland, 27, is being held in King County jail on $3 million bail, an increase from her initial bail of $1 million. She faces one charge of second-degree murder.
Redmond police arrested her on April 4, less than 24 hours after her male roommate found her wife, Tiffany Scotland, 26, deceased in the couple’s bedroom on April 3. The male roommate had gone to look into the couple’s room because he was concerned the two had moved out and were attempting to avoid paying him rent. The three all lived together in the Redmond Hill apartments, in the 18700 block of Redmond Way.
In the days prior, the roommate told police he had received text messages from both women indicating Tiffany Scotland had flown to Georgia to be with her family on March 30. However, Aterraka Scotland wasn’t staying at the Redmond home and provided several excuses for her absence during this time. On April 3, the roommate received a text message from Tiffany Scotland’s phone indicating Aterraka Scotland’s phone was stolen. It appeared to be Tiffany Scotland who had texted him.
“The text added that Tiffany was going to send her phone to Aterraka while Tiffany borrowed her sister’s phone,” charging documents state.
The two texted until about 8 p.m. April 3, one hour before the roommate found Tiffany Scotland’s body.
After he found the woman, he called his brother because he was unsure if her body was human. His brother came over and they called police who confirmed it was, in fact, human.
Police were initially unsure if Tiffany Scotland’s death was a homicide but deemed it so shortly after. The King County Medical Examiner’s Office said Tiffany Scotland had died of asphyxia due to strangulation.
According to charging documents, investigators suspect Tiffany Scotland died on or around March 29. Her body had several stab wounds, but the medical examiner determined those were sustained post-mortem.
As the roommate spoke to police about the strange text messages, he showed an officer Aterraka Scotland’s recent Snapchat videos, which indicated she was alive and with another woman.
Later that day, the roommate told police Aterraka Scotland had just texted him from Tiffany Scotland’s phone and that she was on her way to the apartment to pay the rent. She told him she’d be at a bus stop near a Redmond Fred Meyer.
Detectives were there when she got off the bus.
An officer told the suspect that her wife and died and while she was initially “distraught” she calmed down and agreed to go to the station for an interview.
Aterraka Scotland’s story changed multiple times throughout the interview. First, she told police she had last seen her wife on March 30, but then changed it was March 29 when she when she supposedly dropped her off at the airport.
She said she sustained a cut on her hand from an assault at a Seattle McDonald’s during her shift working her security job. Although she was able to confirm hospital documents for the stitches she got, she couldn’t confirm why her badge, handcuffs and pepper spray were found at the crime scene despite having “lost” her badge in the McDonald’s assault.
“When confronted with several inconsistencies in her statement and the injuries observed on her body, Aterraka initially continued to deny that she had been responsible for Tiffany’s death, but eventually stated, ‘It was an accident,’” charging documents state.
Aterraka Scotland told police her wife had hit her head on a night stand while they were wrestling. However, when confronted with the fact Tiffany Scotland had died from strangulation, Aterraka Scotland admitted to putting her in in a sleeper hold “enough to where it killed her.”
“Aterraka further stated that prior to this, she and Tiffany argued after Aterraka confronted Tiffany about having an affair,” the charging documents continue.
Aterraka Scotland also admitted in the interview to yelling at her wife, “blacking out” and strangling her to death. After the murder, the suspect said she called her friend who brought her cousin and they helped Aterraka Scotland wrap the body and put baking soda on the floor.
“Aterraka claimed that she didn’t know what they had done but later stated that she heard them talking about stabbing Tiffany to make it look like a robbery,” the documents state. “Aterraka stated that they had planned to come back at a later time to move the body.”
Aterraka Scotland is also a suspect in a 2016 Seattle assault case in which she allegedly attacked a male roommate in the head with a hammer, causing serious injury. According to Seattle police, the case is “about to be referred for the filing of charges.”
Although Aterraka Scotland doesn’t currently have a documented criminal history, two days after she was arrested, she called her family in Georgia. Court documents indicate, during a call, she asked her mother if her grandmother was going to put her house up to bail her out of jail. Aterraka Scotland’s mother responded that they would do what they could but she needed to know what was happening.
“After telling her mother that she killed Tiffany, the defendant states, ‘I want to hurry up and get out of here,’” the documents continue. “Her mother responds, ‘When you get out of there, you better leave town.’ The defendant then states, ‘I plan on it. I just want to have a fresh start somewhere.’ “
According to the documents, the suspect goes on to tell her mother she’s thinking about moving to Arizona.
Because she is connected to a brutal assault and is an “obvious flight risk,” a judge granted prosecutors Aterraka Scotland’s $2 million bail increase.
She is scheduled to be arraigned on April 17.