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Published: Monday, July 8, 2013, 4:33 p.m.

Suspect in stabbing death held without bail

Prosecutors believe case is one of first local uses of law allowing judges to block pre-trial release

EVERETT -- A man charged with first-degree murder in the June knifing death of a woman in Lake Stevens was ordered detained without bail Monday by a Snohomish County judge, who said he found the defendant "scary, to say the least."
Anthony E. Garver, 25, belongs behind bars because available evidence suggests he poses a threat to community safety and a flight risk, Everett District Court Judge Roger Fisher said.
The judge ordered Garver held without bail in what prosecutors believe is one of the first local uses of a 2010 state constitutional amendment that allows judges to block a defendant's pre-trial release.
"There's no reason that I should do anything except maintain the no-bail hold," Fisher said after listening to lawyers spar at a hearing Monday.
Garver has in the past threatened to kill judges and prosecutors. He was released from federal prison in February after serving time for threatening to blow up a government building in Spokane.
He dropped from sight in March and became a fugitive. He was being sought by the U.S. Marshal's Office for escape and a probation violation when he was arrested in Everett.
Phillipa S. Evans-Lopez, 20, was stabbed two dozen times, and her throat was cut. She had a 3-year-old son, according to her obituary.
Prosecutors say Garver is linked to the killing through genetic evidence found on electrical cords that were used to tie the young woman to a bed in the house where her body was found.
Garver and Evans-Lopez were strangers, according to court papers. Surveillance video from an Everett restaurant shows them talking a few days before her body was discovered on June 17.
Deputy prosecutor Matt Hunter on Monday charged Garver with first-degree murder. In court, he described Evans-Lopez's death as a "slaughter."
He asked that Garver be held without bail under a provision of the state Constitution approved by voters 2010. Sometimes called the Lakewood Police Officers Memorial Act, the law was enacted in response to the November 2009 slayings of four police officers by a convicted felon who was out on bail.
Garver was disruptive during a hearing last week, repeatedly interrupting lawyers before a decision could be reached on his bail.
On Monday, he reportedly refused to come to court. Fisher authorized corrections officers to drag him from his cell in the county jail, if necessary.
Kathleen Kyle, a longtime public defender, made a spirited pitch that some sort of bail should be allowed in the case, but Garver repeatedly interrupted her, too.
She challenged an affidavit prepared by sheriff's detective Brad Walvatne, outlining Garver's criminal history and the evidence in the Evans-Lopez killing.
She said that the link between Garver and the killing is "very tenuous, at best."
Kyle noted, for example, that the affidavit mentions Garver had a knife with red stains when he was arrested, but nothing had been offered to connect the weapon to Evans-Lopez's death.
Tests since Garver's arrest have confirmed the stains on the knife are human blood, Walvatne said in court. Detectives are awaiting genetic test results.
During the hearing, Garver repeatedly shook his head and sat back from the defense table. Court papers show that in 2008, federal prosecutors tried to get him locked up for as long as possible, citing a psychiatric assessment that concluded he posed a danger to the community.
Prosecutors face a July 26 deadline to refile the murder case in Snohomish County Superior Court.
Scott North: 425-339-3431, north@heraldnet.com
Story tags » EverettLake StevensCrimeProsecutionHomicideAssault

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