Seattle firefighter pleads not guilty to murder charge — (The Seattle Times)

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The Seattle Times (WA)

October 11, 2000

Author: Dave Birkland, Alex Fryer; Seattle Times staff reporter

A Seattle Fire Department lieutenant has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of Sheri Kay Wolf in the Bonney Lake home they shared.

Peter Anton Lindahl, 45, pleaded not guilty yesterday in Pierce County Superior Court, then was taken into custody when Judge Nile Aubrey increased bail to $200,000.

Lindahl was arrested after the slaying but had been free on $50,000 bail until yesterday.

The death of Wolf, 31, on Sunday ended a relationship so embattled that Lindahl earlier this year unsuccessfully sought a restraining order against her.

The Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office said Wolf died of multiple stab wounds but also noted “cutting and blunt injuries” on her body.

She was already dead when Bonney Lake police responded to their home about 8:15 p.m., said police Lt. Bryan Jeter.  Her body was found at the top of a stairway.  A kitchen knife, apparently used in the killing, was also found in the home, Jeter said.

The charging papers say Lindahl made the call to 911 and told the dispatcher, “Why did I do that? Sheri, you ruined my life.”

Officers found Lindahl kneeling over Wolf, holding a telephone to his ear, with their 17-month-old daughter crying nearby, according to charging papers.

In a June 6 court petition for a restraining order against Wolf, Lindahl disputed who had fathered the child.  He wrote: ” A week after our first date, she (Wolf) called and said she was pregnant and the baby was mine.”

But in the same document, Lindahl also wrote that he feared Wolf “will take my daughter.”  He wrote that to save money, he allowed Wolf to move in and put her on his health insurance. “I have tried to get her to get a job and get out of my house, but she won’t,” he told the court.

Anxiety over their relationship caused him to miss work and take anti-depressants, he said.

The restraining-order request also accused Wolf of throwing Lindahl’s birthday cake and a plant down the stairs, calling his friends and leaving as many as 30 harassing messages and threatening to make up allegations of child abuse to have him arrested.

He said she called his older daughter names and threatened the two of them to the point that they had to leave the house. “This is emotional torture,” he wrote.  Lindahl asked that Wolf be ordered to stay at least 50 feet from his home and workplace.

The restraining-order petition was denied by a court commissioner because the allegations were termed “not sufficient.”   Before yesterday’s court appearance, Lindahl declined to talk with reporters.

Greg Farrar, a relative, said, “These allegations are totally out of character for Peter. I can’t believe it. We don’t know what the police know, but we support Peter and are very sorry this has happened.”

Lindahl joined the Seattle Fire Department in 1982 and was promoted to lieutenant in 1994.  He has been put on administrative leave, a department official said.

Seattle Times staff reporter Alex Fryer contributed to this report.

Dave Birkland’s phone message number is 206-515-5682. E-mail: dbirkland@seattletimes.com.

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