Mentally ill killer found standing nearly naked in family’s home, says ‘I wanted to take a bath’
LAKEWOOD — A 42-year-old mentally ill man who admitted to killing another man while at a psychiatric ward was found nearly naked in a home Friday, telling the owners with young children that he “only wanted to take a bath,” Lakewood police said.
According to police, a family with three young children returned to their home on Briar Road in Lakewood following dinner out Friday to find Scott David Latham standing in their kitchen, wearing only a loose pair of jeans.
The children were the to first to spot Latham, police said, and stopped in their tracks as soon as they entered the home.
When confronted by their father, Latham allegedly said he had crawled into the house and taken a bath, and just wanted to leave.
The father told his family to get out of the house and grabbed Latham, putting him into a headlock. The two fought as the victim’s wife called police and took the young children — who were crying and visibly shaken — outside the home, police said.
Police arriving at the scene entered the home to find the victim holding Latham — whose pants had fallen to the ground — in a headlock. Latham actively fought both the victim and police until officers managed to arrest him, police said.
Latham told police his dead parents had lived at the home previously, and he just wanted to take a bath in the tub.
Officers conducting a search of the home found Latham’s shoes and socks on the back porch, and suds in the bathroom, indicating that he had indeed washed himself.
Latham was arrested and charged with first-degree burglary and fourth degree assault. He pleaded not guilty, the Tacoma News Tribune reported, and was ordered jailed in lieu of $100,000 bail.
Latham has a history of mental illness, and was convicted in 2010 of manslaughter charges stemming from a 1997 fight at a psychiatric ward. According to the Examiner.com, he punched a 49-year-old man in the face while committed, causing the man to hit his head on a concrete floor, killing him. The judge sided with Latham’s insanity defense in the case, and he was committed to Western State’s psychiatric hospital for 12 years.
He was released sometime after 2010.
Latham has previously received treatment for schizophrenia and other mental illnesses, the Examiner reported.