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Man accused of murder in shooting death of roommate

July 9, 2021 GMT

HAZEL DELL, Wash. (AP) — A southwestern Washington man is accused of shooting his roommate during an argument Tuesday at their house in Hazel Dell. Authorities identified the victim Thursday as Michael Brachais, 45.

Justin Nicholas Romero, 31, made a first appearance on a second-degree murder charge Thursday in Clark County Superior Court, The Columbian reported. Judge David Gregerson set bail at $750,000. It wasn’t immediately known if he has a lawyer to comment on the case.

Court records indicate the men argued over Romero’s wish for Brachais to move out. An affidavit of probable cause alludes to some kind of recent conflict.

A neighbor said she called 911 on Tuesday afternoon and then saw a woman carrying a baby and leading several children to an SUV. A man got into the driver’s seat, and they drove away, the affidavit says.

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Law enforcement found Brachais dead inside by the front door, according to the affidavit. The Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office on Thursday said Brachais died of multiple gunshot wounds and ruled his death a homicide.

Two of Romero’s children were later dropped off at their mother’s residence. She told investigators Romero owns a pistol that he keeps in a safe, which investigators said they found open and empty.

Romero was arrested Wednesday at a residence in Camas, court records show.