Gig Harbor suspect in smothering attempt freed for now

Staff writerApril 23, 2013 

A 47-year-old man arrested last week on suspicion of trying to smother his girlfriend’s elderly mother was to be released from jail Tuesday evening after Pierce County prosecutors said they needed more time to make a charging decision.

Karl Gremmler made a first appearance in court Monday and was ordered jailed on $250,000 bail, pending a charging decision Tuesday. Prosecutors came to court and said they were not ready to make a decision.

“The investigation is ongoing,” deputy prosecutor Phil Sorensen told The News Tribune. “We’ll make a charging decision when the investigation is complete.”

Gig Harbor police arrested Gremmler last week after receiving reports he tried to smother the 91-year-old woman with a pillow. She survived and called for help.

Gremmler’s attorney, Brett Purtzer, had argued Monday that authorities didn’t have probable cause to hold his client.

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