Reed found guilty in slaying of Oso couple

  • Saturday, June 2, 2018 1:30am
  • News

By Rikki King

and Stephanie Davey

The Herald

EVERETT — Patrick Shunn and Monique Patenaude made a beautiful home for themselves on acreage near Oso.

He commuted to Kirkland each day so they could have the lifestyle they wanted.

On Wednesday afternoon, their former neighbor, John Reed, 55, was convicted of their murders.

Reed was found guilty of aggravated first-degree murder in Shunn’s death. Jurors determined the killing was premeditated. They also found Reed guilty of second-degree murder in Patenaude’s death.

In addition, Reed was convicted of illegal possession of a firearm, as he had a prior felony.

The verdict followed a trial that lasted 2½ weeks in Snohomish County Superior Court. Jurors deliberated for about 4½ hours Tuesday and Wednesday.

The couple’s families asked for privacy after the verdict was read. They cried and embraced one another in the crowded courtroom.

Under state law, Reed only can be sentenced to life without parole. That hearing is set for July 6.

Shunn, 45, and Patenaude, 46, lived on Whitman Road. Their gated driveway provided easement access to Reed’s property. Problems between him and the couple were documented back to at least 2013.

The next year, Reed’s land was damaged by the Oso mudslide. He took a federal disaster buyout weeks before the killings. He continued to live there illegally, however. Patenaude had reported him for squatting.

Reed claimed the couple attacked him on April 11, 2016, and he shot them in self-defense. He said Patenaude was hit first, followed by her husband. Reed said he “panicked” and hid the bodies and other evidence in the woods and in a ravine, recruiting his brother to help.

Police and prosecutors believe Patenaude was defenseless when she was shot three times, including a “coup de grace” bullet to the head. They say Shunn was ambushed hours later in his driveway as he returned home from work. He was shot in the back of the head, likely without seeing or hearing his assailant.

Their bodies were recovered six weeks later. Reed was arrested that July, after his brother surrendered at the U.S.-Mexico border, supposedly at John Reed’s insistence. The brother, Tony Reed, spent time in prison for his role in the case. Their parents are charged with felonies, accused of assisting with the getaway.

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