Updated at 7:31 p.m. on Thursday March 15, 2012
By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter
CHEHALIS – Prosecutors said the owner of the house on Centralia’s B Street told his house guests to stop arguing, then went and loaded his handgun before he “called the victim out of the bedroom” and shots were fired, killing 43-year-old David Wayne Carson.
The accused, Weston G. Miller, told police he acted in self-defense yesterday, that Carson rushed him with a knife, according to charging papers. Detectives haven’t found evidence Carson was armed, Elected Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer wrote in court documents.
Miller, 29, was charged today with first-degree murder, with a maximum possible penalty of life in prison.
He was arrested after “fleeing” his own house yesterday afternoon.
Miller is described as a lifelong local resident, a former welder who collected on-the-job injury payments until the end of last year. Neighbors say the past few months he’s had financial issues, including getting the power shut off in his home.
Carson’s family says he had been staying with Miller for about a week, with plans to use a college grant to become a “bush” pilot in Alaska.
Prosecutor Meyer today told a judge Miller is a danger to the community.
“This was an unprovoked attack, he shot the victim two times and the victim is deceased,” Meyer said.
Meyer said detectives found in his house five guns, a silencer, a laser site for a gun and a bullet-proof vest.
Miller’s domestic violence assault two years ago means he’s prohibited from possessing firearms, according to Meyer.
Neither Centralia police, prosecutors or charging documents shed light on how the two men knew each other or any details about the dispute between Carson and his girlfriend Sara Delsavo. Only that the couple were arguing in a bedroom and Miller told them to quit it on two, perhaps three occasions.
Delsavo allegedly indicated that the day before, however, Miller offered to shoot Carson for her, and showed her his silencer, according to charging documents.
Lewis County Superior Court Judge Nelson Hunt ordered Miller held on $1 million bail.
Defense attorney Bob Schroeter had argued for much lower.
He pointed out the victim has a “rap sheet” that runs eight pages and an outstanding warrant for criminal trespass.
Miller’s only background was a two-year-old fourth-degree assault gross misdemeanor, Schroeter said.
“He poses no threat to the community whatsoever,” he said. “(The documents) seem to insinuate my client got in the middle, tried to rectify a situation.”
Police believe Carson was shot with a 9 mm handgun.
Miller was interviewed by police after his arrest.
According to charging documents, he said he got his gun from his bedroom, loaded it, put it in the pocket of his sweatpants and returned to the victim’s room.
He said he saw (Carson) just a few feet away from him with a knife in his left hand, and that he came at him, causing him to pull out his gun and fire, charging documents say.
Delsavo told police her boyfriend only moved toward Miller when Miller called him, and said her boyfriend was not armed, according to the documents. She heard several gunshots, she said.
Police have said they think three shots were fired.
Miller was also charged with five counts of second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm.
When detectives searched his home, they found a .22 caliber rifle, a Walter .22 caliber pistol, a Walter 9 mm pistol, a Rohm revolver and a MAC-10 semi-automatic, according to charging documents.
Several of the victim’s family members were in the courtroom when Miller appeared, including Carson’s 21-year-old daughter and 17-year-old son.
His older brother Dan Carson spoke earlier about a life cut short.
David Carson – always the adventurer – had just signed up for college and was going to learn to fly, so he could go work in Alaska, he said.
“He seemed pretty excited Saturday when I talked to him about it,” he said.
The family grew up in Centralia, but when David was young, he hitched a ride on a train to California and his life took a turn for the worse, according to his brother.
“David, he never liked to following the rules much,” he said. “He always wanted to play or look for some bug or a bird.”
A bum on the train molested him, there was a gun and David Carson shot and killed the man, his brother said. He spent five years in juvenile detention in California, he said.
Dan Carson recalls his brother got out when he was 16.
One of his greatest loves was dogs and he took a job in San Bernadino caring for expensive show dogs, his brother said. He even worked with the St. Bernard from the movie “Beethoven” and a chihuahua from a Taco Bell commercial, he said.
Then that ended with some kind of a squabble, he said.
“He got into meth for awhile and he went down that road,” Dan Carson said. “Committed enough stuff, it was pretty much hopeless taking part in the American dream, if you will.”
Then life was good again, when David Carson worked at Hardel plywood in Chehalis as a millwright.
“He bought a truck, was picking it up, even going to church from time to time,” he said.
In the recent past, David Carson stayed temporarily with his mother in Chehalis, and then his girlfriend found him the place to stay on B Street, Dan Carson said.
He was talented, an artist as well, he said.
“He was good at whatever he did, when he decided to put his mind to it,” he said.
David Carson leaves behind his mother, two brothers, two children and a “California pit bull” named Titus.
Miller’s arraignment is scheduled for Thursday, March 22.
For background, read “Breaking news: Man fatally shot in Centralia, suspect arrested” from Tuesday March 13, 2012 at 6:36 p.m., here