Security tight for trial tied to alleged ‘Bigfoot’ killing

The first trial in a criminal case that features bikers, drugs, guns, people nicknamed Bigfoot, Mountain and Dirty and a dog named Pumpkin got under way this week in Snohomish County Superior Court.

Because some of the witnesses and defendants have ties to gangs and many have lengthy criminal histories, sheriff’s deputies stepped up security in the courthouse. A security guard posted outside the courtroom is searching purses, bags and backpacks and double-checking spectators for weapons.

“Even the lawyers are getting searched,” a staffer said Thursday.

Ronald Brown is the first of three men to go to trial for the Dec. 1, 2011 home invasion robbery in Marysville that ended in the death of a Tacoma man.

Patrick Buckmaster, 30, was shot in the head and buried in a shallow grave in east Snohomish County. Prosecutors allege that Johnathan “Bigfoot” Frohs shot Buckmaster after he mistook him for a rival when the Tacoma man walked into the house wearing a hockey mask.

Buckmaster’s family was told by a suspected member of the Aryan Family prison gang that Buckmaster was taken on vacation because he’d done right by an outlaw motorcycle gang during a recent job. Relatives believe that was the gang’s way of notifying them of Buckmaster’s death.

Investigators suspect that the home-invasion robbery was set in motion after two men robbed a drug dealer of $4,700 and methamphetamine. That man reportedly rounded up some friends and stormed a house in search of his robbers. They weren’t there, but the crew held two people inside the house hostage, demanding money and threatening their relatives, according to court papers.

One of those allegedly taken hostage was on the witness stand Thursday. He said he knew trouble was breathing down his neck after hearing that Kenny Easley, aka Dirty, had been ripped off. He told the jury drug dealers don’t just roll over when someone steals their dope, money and car.

“It’s about respect,” the man said.

He said he was certain things were headed south for him after he took a call from a man, who said, “First the boys are coming over and then the men will be showing up.”

The man said he was home with his dog, Pumpkin, a Labrador Poodle mix who wouldn’t hurt a flea, when the heavily-armed crew showed up and began searching for the two men accused of robbing them. His wife returned home a short time later and also was held against her will, court papers said.

After Buckmaster was shot, everyone scattered. People later returned to the house to clean up and move Buckmaster’s body, court papers said.

A handful of men have pleaded guilty for their parts in the home-invasion robbery and drug rip-off. Frohs, who is charged with murder, is scheduled to go to trial in June, along with Clark Johnson. Jeffrey Brinkley’s trial is scheduled for next week. He’s accused of robbing, assaulting and kidnapping Easley. If convicted, that would be his third-strike, sending him to prison for life, according to prosecutors.

Brown’s trial could last a few weeks.

More in Local News

Snohomish man, 63, missing from home since Monday

He left without his keys, wallet and phone, saying something about going to “the river.”

Firefighters come to the rescue and give mom new stroller

Donations to the Good Neighbor Program covered the $143.20 cost.

Case unresolved: The noose at an Edmonds construction site

Though two were fired over comments about it, police were unable to determine who put it there.

To get drug money, Lynnwood man says he cut 911 wires

Those wires happened to be the ones used by 911 dispatchers, but emergency services weren’t affected.

February trial set for suspect in deadly Marysville shooting

There had been questions about Wayne Alpert’s mental health.

Fatal car crash reported on Highway 92 near Lake Stevens

The 3 p.m. accident and investigation stopped traffic in both directions near Machias Road.

Motorcyclist killed in crash had high level of THC

A motorcyclist had more than eight times the legal limit… Continue reading

Investigation recommends girl shot by officers face charges

The teen is accused of assaulting her boyfriend and the responding police officers.

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)
Higher tolls could improve traffic speed in I-405 toll lanes

A report recommends lifting on the maximum toll and charging only by segment.

Most Read