John Reed found guilty in 2016 killing of Oso couple

EVERETT, Wash. -- A man charged with killing his former neighbors and hiding their bodies in the woods in Snohomish County in 2016 has been found guilty of murder.

Reed was convicted in the shooting deaths of Patrick Shunn and Monique Patenaude in April 2016 over a property dispute. It was a crime that rocked the tight-knit community around Oso in Snohomish County.

John Reed was convicted of murder in the 1st and 2nd degree -- and unlawful possession of a firearm. Sentencing is scheduled for July 6. He could face life in prison.

Reed and his defense attorney had fought aggravated murder charges, but they admitted Reed killed the couple.

On Friday, Reed told the jury himself he had to kill Monique and Patrick in order to save his own life.

“Your actions speak so loudly, I cannot hear your words,” said prosecutor Craig Matheson during Tuesday’s closing arguments. “He murders people. Convict him of exactly what he did.”

Reed sat quietly as prosecutors wrapped up their case against him. The jury heard Reed testify on the stand Friday claiming his actions were in self-defense and that his attempt to cover up the incident spiraled out of control.

Prosecutors told the jury that tactic was merely a strategy to deflect his responsibility from the killings.

“Admit what you must, deny what you can,” said Matheson. “That’s exactly what defendant did in his testimony on Friday.”

This all began after Reed took a federal buyout after his property was damaged during the Oso slide. In April 2016, prosecutors claim, Reed first executed Patenaude and then laid in wait before doing the same to her husband Shunn.

Then, according to prosecutors, Reed tried to destroy evidence, buried his victim’s bodies and fled to Mexico with his brother, Tony.

“My job here is to poke holes,” said Reed’s defense attorney, Phil Sayles. “I’m not going to throw fluff; I’m not going to throw you bombastic statements.”

Reed’s attorney says not only did police botched their initial investigation, but prosecutors are ignoring his self-defense claim because they don’t really know how the murders happened.

“John Reed, ladies and gentlemen, is guilty of many things in this case,” said Sayles. “Guilty of trying to cover up bodies, guilty of not calling 911 soon enough, guilty of disposing of vehicles, bodies, items, phones, guilty of cover-ups. He’s guilty of all these things but he’s not guilty of these charges.”

John’s brother, Tony Reed, has already pleaded guilty to helping him escape, and admitted to helping John hide the couple’s bodies in the mountains.