EVERETT — Patrick Shunn and Monique Patenaude made a beautiful home for themselves on acreage near Oso.
He commuted to his job at an aircraft-interior refurbishing firm in Kirkland each day so they could have the lifestyle they wanted.
But they made a “fatal mistake of geography,” according to prosecutors.
On Wednesday afternoon, their former neighbor, John Reed, 55, was convicted of two counts of murder in their shooting deaths.
The jury found Reed guilty of first-degree murder in the death of Shunn. First-degree murder includes premeditation. He was found guilty of second-degree murder in Patenaude’s death.
Reed also was found guilty of illegal possession of a firearm because he had an earlier felony conviction.
The verdict followed a trial that lasted 2½ weeks in Snohomish County Superior Court. Jurors deliberated for about 4½ hours Tuesday and Wednesday.
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 just weeks before the killings. He continued to live there illegally, however. Patenaude had reported him for squatting.
Reed claimed the couple attacked him while they were armed, and he shot them in self-defense, on April 11, 2016. He said he “panicked” and that’s why he hid the bodies and other evidence in the woods and in a ravine, recruiting his brother to help with the coverup.
Police and prosecutors say that 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 at the locked gate and 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. Their parents, too, are charged with felonies for allegedly assisting with the getaway.
Reed faces life in prison. Sentencing was set for July 6.