Drugs a key factor in former student’s homicide


By Nick Fiorillo

Police have confirmed that drugs played a role in the homicide of 2011 MTHS graduate Forest Jackson early Saturday morning.

Mountlake Terrace Police Department (MTPD) Commander Doug Hansen said the suspect in the homicide, 20-year-old former MTHS student Toby Sauceda, was under the influence of drugs when he allegedly fatally stabbed Jackson with a “large kitchen knife.” Sauceda is being held at the Snohomish County Jail on a $1 million bond.

Hansen said a woman made a 911 call at 1:48 a.m. on Saturday at the 6300 block of St. Albion Way and said her roommate had been stabbed and was dying. The woman reportedly told 911 that it was a friend who had stabbed Jackson and then left the apartment.

Hansen said “within seconds” of the woman’s call, 911 received a call from Sauceda who reportedly told the dispatcher that he had “killed his best friend.”

“Officers got [to the apartment complex] when [Sauceda] was still on the line talking to our dispatch center,” Hansen said.

“[Sauceda] was in the apartment complex still, near the office, and they arrested him there, took him into custody. He had some blood on him,” Hansen said. “Then [police] went into the apartment and found the victim and at that point the aid crew was there and the victim was deceased.”

Hansen said the killing happened as a result of an argument over the prescription drug Xanax.

“[Sauceda] wanted his pills and they felt that he was already under the influence and [Jackson’s female roommate] didn’t want to give them to him,” he added.

Hansen also said the woman had used Xanax earlier that night. Sauceda was reportedly a friend of Jackson’s and had been at the apartment prior to the homicide.

Hansen said Sauceda has a history of drug use and violence, citing Sauceda’s pending felony assault charges from unrelated incidents that Hansen said were “within the last six weeks.”

The timeline in addressing the case is quite uncertain because of the strain the aftermath of the recent Oso landslide has put on  local law enforcement agencies and medical examiners, Hansen noted.

He said the issue of abuse of prescription drugs is one that police address frequently.

“There was a time period when it was really noticeable and I think with the Oxycontin being manufactured differently we’ve seen a little bit of a drop in that,” Hansen said. “And now with marijuana being legalized more people are prescribing that to themselves or whatever, but there’s always been and always will be people who abuse their prescription medications.”

He concluded, “It’s a tragic situation involving drugs and young people.”

Forest Jackson (center) playing at the June 2011 arts assembly with other members of the 2011 Jazz 1.
Forest Jackson (center) playing at the June 2011 arts assembly with other members of the 2011 Jazz 1. Photo by Hawkeye staff.