Man convicted of killing 60-year-old Lacey grandmother Gail Doyle, who disappeared two years ago

James Stidd

OLYMPIA, Wash. – James Stidd was convicted in Thurston County Superior Court of second-degree murder and other charges Thursday in the disappearance of 60-year-old Lacey grandmother Gail Doyle.

Sentencing is set for July 9.

Doyle has yet to be found.

Stidd was also convicted of four counts of  unlawful possession of a firearm and tampering with evidence.  Stidd, as a felon, cannot legally possess firearms.

Doyle disappeared June 2, 2016, after witnesses reported she and Stidd had gotten into a verbal argument at a tavern in Olympia. Stidd told police previously that he and Doyle had continued arguing while driving from the tavern and that she asked to be let out of his car. He said he stopped and let her out of the car near the Aztec Lanes bowling alley and never saw her again.

Stidd, 66, became a suspect after law enforcement searched his home in unincorporated Thurston County later in June 2016. In court documents, police said they found evidence of blood and blood spatter in his residence and garage. In the garage, a hammer was found on a work bench and it had several visible blond hairs wrapped around the head of the hammer, which also had blood evidence on it.  Blood evidence was also believed found on the handle of what was believed to be a buzz saw, but the saw was missing.

“The evidence that we found at his residence strongly suggests that he’s responsible for her disappearance,” Thurston County sheriff’s Sgt. Lynn Carter said at the time.

Authorities said Stidd had purchased a pressure washer on June 4 and that it appeared it was used to clean areas of the floor of of his garage. Authorities also said that Stidd recently dropped off two black plastic bags at the Thurston County Waste and Recovery Center site. But remains found at the waste site turned out to be non-human.