Judge rules Gese competent to stand trial for murder of mother, Kent teacher

Michael Gese received competency restoration services at state hospital; Gail Gese killed Feb. 1

Gail Gese.


A judge has ruled that Michael Gese, charged with killing Gail Gese, his mother and a Kent middle school teacher, is competent to stand trial.

Michael Gese, 31, of Tacoma, faces a first-degree murder charge for allegedly stabbing his mother Feb. 1 at her Tacoma home. Gail Gese, 66, taught in the Kent School District. She taught math, foods, fads and finance at Cedar Heights Middle School, in Covington, since 2011. She previously taught at Kent Phoenix Academy.

Pierce County Superior Court Judge Grant Blinn ruled Oct. 11 that Gese is competent to stand trial, that he has the capacity to understand the nature of the proceedings against him and to assist in his defense, according to court documents. A trial date of Nov. 30 has been set, although that could be continued if attorneys from either side request more time to prepare the case.

Gese had been held at Western State Hospital in Lakewood rather than the Pierce County jail for competency restoration services. He was admitted in July to Western State for 90 days of competency restoration and an evaluation regarding his competency to stand trial on the pending charges. He is now back in jail. Bail is set at $1 million.

Gese appears to meet diagnostic criteria for schizophrenia, with multiple episodes, but is currently in full remission, according to court documents. The documents include eight pages of an Oct. 6 Inpatient Forensic Evaluation Service Competency Assessment.

Gese faced a 2016 DUI charge where a doctor reported in 2019 that Gese lacks the capacity to assist in his defense, according to court documents. He lived in residential care facility in Lakewood for 18 months and stopped his prescribed medications when he left the facility near the end of 2017.

Pierce County Superior Court Judge Karena Kirkendoll ruled Feb. 23 Gese incompetent to stand trial for the first-degree murder charge and ordered competency restoration for him following evaluations of Gese. That ruling came after a doctor diagnosed Gese with schizophrenia, which he now treats with olansapine as prescribed by a doctor, according to court documents.

Gese told Tacoma Police detectives after his Feb. 1 arrest that he was having an issue with his mother because she asked him to leave the residence which would cause him to be homeless again and he didn’t want to do that. He admitted to detectives that he stabbed his mother in the neck, according to court documents.

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@kentreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kentreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

Kent man, 83, dies after medical emergency while driving on East Hill

Reportedly died from medical issue prior to single-car crash Feb. 2o along 132nd Avenue SE

Rep. Mia Gregerson. COURTESY PHOTO, Legislative Support Services
Gregerson state bill aims to improve immigration support

Designed to better address needs of refugees, immigrants arriving in Washington state

Federal Way man faces charges for shooting, injuring trooper in Kent

Trooper reportedly shot nine times Feb. 16 after a struggle following foot pursuit

Courtesy image, U.S. Department of Justice
Kent man pleads guilty to selling guns to those with criminal histories

Sold more than 100 firearms to those barred from possessing guns

Man dies after shooting in Kent on King County Metro bus

Altercation between two men led to shooting Friday afternoon, Feb. 16

File photo
Puget Sound Energy files two-year rate plan for electric, natural gas

Driven by the state’s clean energy laws, the plan has been filed to the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission.

Washington Early Support for Infants and Toddlers program advocacy group at the State Capitol for HB 1916. (Photo Courtesy of Kindering)
‘When services decline, it’s the kids who pay the price’

Legislative bill would recover funding for the Early Support for Infants and Toddlers program - and could save the state millions.

A screenshot of the King County Sheriff’s Office Guardian One helicopter view of the arrest of a Kent man after carjacking incidents Feb. 13 in Kent. COURTESY IMAGE, King County Sheriff’s Office
Kent man, woman charged in carjackings, stolen vehicles case

Tracking by King County Sheriff’s Office helicopter lasted nearly 50 minutes Feb. 13 across Kent

Donald Cook. COURTESY PHOTO, Kent School District
Cook accuses fellow Kent School Board members of improper actions

Claims they made decisions during private executive sessions that should be made in public

Port Townsend man injured in I-5 hit-and-run crash near Kent

Early Thursday morning, Feb. 15 near South 200th Street; driver flees on foot

Kent Police Blotter: Jan. 30 to Feb. 10

Incidents include 11 shootings: two at city parks, two at apartments, one at WinCo

Vine Maple Place receives $200,000 grant from KeyBank

Group has centers in Kent and Maple Valley to help families who are homeless