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The US physician accused of killing his partner and their toddler son may have used as many as five knives to stab and slash the victims more than 100 times, prosecutors say.

King County prosecutors allege Louis Chen stabbed Eric Cooper “well over” 100 times during a deadly rampage at their Seattle penthouse apartment last week.

The couple’s two-year-old son, Cooper Chen, suffered “numerous cuts to his neck”, according to charging documents filed in King County Superior Court on Tuesday.

Dr Chen, 39, was charged with two counts of aggravated first-degree murder and ordered to be held without bail.

The crime is punishable by either the death penalty or life in prison without parole.

The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has 30 days from Dr Chen’s arraignment, scheduled for August 29, to determine whether to pursue the death penalty against him, according to spokesman Dan Donohoe.

Charging documents indicate that Mr Cooper, 29, was found dead in the living room of the couple’s apartment with wounds to his face, neck, chest, back and hands.

The child’s body was found in a bathtub.

Police said five knives, including a butcher knife and a large kitchen knife with the blade broken off, were found in the home, all with signs of blood on them.

The two men and the child had moved into the apartment in July, and Dr Chen was scheduled to start work at Seattle’s Virginia Mason Medical Centre on Monday.

The bodies were discovered on Thursday after Dr Chen’s sister called the manager of the apartment complex because she had not heard from her brother since the previous Monday, August 8.

When Dr Chen opened the door, court documents allege, he was nude, semiconscious and covered in dried blood.

The manager could see Mr Cooper’s body, clad only in boxers, on the living-room floor, according to court documents.

The couple’s child was conceived with Dr Chen’s sperm and the egg of an anonymous Taiwanese woman. The child was carried by a surrogate mother, then adopted by Mr Cooper.

A friend said that by the time the family moved to Washington, the couple had already decided to separate amicably.


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