18 years for woman who tried to kill husband

EVERETT — Renee Bishop-McKean didn’t kill her husband with an electric saw, but on Thursday she was sentenced to 18 years in prison for trying.

Bishop-McKean was convicted last month of attempted first-degree murder in connection with a bizarre attack last year in the Everett home she once shared with her husband and their two children.

A jury was told that Bishop-McKean, 44, first tried to cut off her husband’s head with a Sawzall while he slept. When that didn’t work, she whacked him with a hatchet and finally clobbered him with a three-pound mallet.

The man survived the assault, mainly because of a couple of crucial mistakes on his wife’s part.

Bishop-McKean denied attacking her husband. She blamed an intruder, who she said slipped through an open window.

Her husband was convinced that his wife was behind the attempt on his life. During the police investigation, evidence stacked up that the nighttime ambush wasn’t spontaneous. Detectives discovered that Bishop-McKean recently purchased a new Sawzall, hatchet and mallet and stockpiled bleach, plastic sheeting and several aluminum roasting pans. They also discovered that the window Bishop-McKean claimed the intruder climbed through could only open a couple of inches.

Jurors were told that the couple had been living apart, but on the night of the assault, Bishop-McKean invited her husband back home. She convinced him to park his vehicle around the corner, bring a wet vacuum up from the basement and persuaded him that the strange noise he heard when he settled into bed was from extra blankets, when in fact it was plastic sheeting wrapped around the mattress.

Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Paul Stern contended that the Everett woman plotted the murder, even if she made some mistakes carrying out the plan.

Stern on Thursday asked for the 18-year prison term. The defendant faced up to 20 years under the state’s sentencing guidelines. The deputy prosecutor said his recommendation reflected the seriousness of the crime and also gave some protection to the defendant’s young children.

“They’ll be at a sufficient age and maturity to be able to intelligently decide how much they want their mom involved in their lives,” Stern said.

Defense attorney Ken Lee told the judge that his client has suffered some physical ailments and taken medications that perhaps contributed to her behavior and lack of “normal” thinking. He said the trial never uncovered a motive for the attack, which he characterized as a half-hearted attempt at best.

“My sense is that she is not a bad person,” Lee said.

He also argued that there’s no evidence his client is a bad mother or that her children need to be protected from her.

“She misses her children greatly,” Lee said.

Superior Court Judge Eric Lucas supported the prosecutor’s recommendation. The judge said it was clear to him that the defendant made an attempt on her husband’s life. He also said he was convinced that Bishop-McKean suffered from either a “mental disturbance” or “some kind of brain injury.” He pointed to her past conviction about a decade ago. Bishop-McKean was charged with two crimes after she fired a gun inside an apartment in California. She told police that she shot at a wall in an effort to get her husband, then her boyfriend, out of the apartment.

Bishop-McKean didn’t have anything to say to the judge before she was sentenced. She had plenty to say to reporters, though.

“Oh my God, get a life,” she said to a television camera crew when she was led into the courtroom.

As she was walked out, she berated the prosecutor, calling him a liar. She also called the court system a sham.

Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; hefley@heraldnet.com.

More in Local News

Longboarders from near and far hit the trail in Arlington

The Centennial Sk8 Festival was serious competition for some and just for fun for others.

Signs show the rates for using the express toll lanes for traffic headed southbound on Interstate 405, Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016, in Bothell, Wash. Gov. Jay Inslee announced plans Tuesday to try to decrease congestion on I-405 in answer to commuter complaints that the new express lane tolling system is making traffic worse. The governor said he would not be shutting down the tolling system as some people have called for. But the state transportation department is making plans to add new northbound general purpose lanes to ease some of the congestion and also plan to make it easier to move into and out of the express lanes. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
After a 2-year trial, are I-405’s toll lanes here to stay?

Lawmakers will decide whether to keep them or end the experiment and try something else.

Weary drivers using toll lanes say they have little choice

Congestion continues to be a tedious reality for commuters on I-405, which is as clogged as ever.

Council passes six-month moratorium on safe injection sites

Proposal by County Councilman Nate Nehring passed unanimously.

Terrace woman held following collision in Everett

The three occupants in vehicle were transported to a local hospital in serious condition.

Information sought on drive-by shooting in Everett

Debris from an apparent crash, evidence of gunfire found in the 2800 block of California Street.

Crews recover body of man who fell over Wallace Falls

The area where the man fell is called Sky Valley Lookout, 2.4 miles from the parking lot.

Herald photos of the week

A weekly collection of The Herald’s best images by staff photographers and… Continue reading

This week’s Herald Super Kid is Nathan Nicholson of Snohomish High School. (Dan Bates / The Herald)
‘The future is biotech,’ but for now he’s busy with everything

Snohomish senior Nathan Nicholson is a student leader and media master.

Most Read