Camas-Washougal Fire Department battalion chief accused of murdering wife

Kevin West, of Washougal, has been charged with first-degree murder in January death of 48-year-old Marcy West

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A fire engine sits in front of the Camas-Washougal Fire Department's Station 43 in Washougal on Sunday, April 30, 2022. (Kelly Moyer/Post-Record files)

A Camas-Washougal Fire Department (CWFD) fire battalion chief has been arrested and charged with murdering his wife. 

Clark County Sheriff’s Office detectives arrested Kevin West, 49, of Washougal, Friday, March 22, and booked him into the Clark County Jail on a charge of murder in the first degree. 

According to a Clark County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) news release, first-responders from the Washougal Police Department and CWFD responded to West’s home on 34th Street in Washougal at 4:27 a.m. Jan. 8, after West reported that his wife, Marcelle “Marcy” West, 48, was having a seizure. 

“Within minutes, he advised the dispatcher that she had stopped breathing and that he was initiating (cardiopulmonary resuscitation),” the news release stated. “Medics arrived and attempted life-saving measures, but resuscitation efforts were not successful.”

Marcy West was pronounced dead 44 minutes after first responders arrived at the Wests’ home. 

Washougal police and the Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office began to investigate Marcy West’s death and, according to the news release, police began fielding calls from people who were concerned that Kevin West may have had something to do with his wife’s death. 

After an autopsy showed Marcy West had suffered neck trauma, police began a criminal investigation. 

On Jan. 11, Washougal police detectives met with CCSO detectives and asked the Sheriff’s Office to take over the investigation to, according to the news release, “avoid any possible conflicts of interest” due to Kevin West’s position as a local fire department leader. 

“Over the next several weeks, CCSO (detectives from the Major Crimes Unit) began conducting interviews with … witnesses and interviewed Kevin West multiple times,” CCSO stated in the news release. 

Detectives reviewed video from the body-worn cameras Washougal police officers had running during their initial response inside the Wests’ home, and reviewed crime-scene photos. They also learned, according to the news release, that Kevin and Marcy West had been alone in the house, Jan. 8. 

On Jan. 31, CCSO detectives received search warrants to search the Wests’ home as well as their cell phones and online service provider records. 

“Through their investigation, detectives learned that Kevin and Marcy (West) were experiencing marital and financial problems,” CCSO stated in the news release. 

The detectives also said they believed Kevin West had provided “contradictory statements.” 

On March 20, the county’s medical examiner declared Marcy West had died by asphyxia with blunt trauma to the neck and ruled her death the result of a homicide. Detectives arrested Kevin West two days later, on March 22, and booked him into the county jail on first-degree murder charges. 

According to the city of Camas, Kevin West has worked for the City for 22 years, was promoted from fire captain to fire battalion chief in 2020, and earns an annual salary of $162,600.

Editor’s note: This article has been edited to reflect the fact that Kevin West is a Camas-Washougal Fire Department battalion chief, not a fire captain. Although the city of Camas’ website, as of March 22, still listed West as a fire captain-paramedic, the City’s communications director clarified on Friday, March 22, that West was promoted to the rank of fire battalion chief in 2020.