Brother agrees to testify at double-slaying trial in April

EVERETT — An Ellensburg man who admitted to helping his brother cover up a double homicide in Oso isn’t headed to prison any time soon.

A judge on Monday agreed to postpone Tony Clyde Reed’s sentencing until mid-April. Prosecutors asked for the delay so Reed could uphold his promise to testify against his older brother, John Reed, who is accused of killing his former neighbors after a long-standing property dispute.

John Reed was arrested in Mexico in July and is charged with aggravated murder for the deaths of Patrick Shunn and Monique Patenaude. The couple was fatally shot April 11 and buried in a makeshift grave several miles from their rural home.

Prosecuting Attorney Mark Roe isn’t expected to decide whether to pursue the death penalty until November. John Reed, 53, is scheduled to go to trial in April 2017.

Shortly after surrendering in May, Tony Reed led detectives to the slain couple’s bodies. He also quickly pleaded guilty to rendering criminal assistance. Prosecutors alleged that he helped his brother bury Shunn and Patenaude and helped clean up after the crime. The brothers fled the country within days of the killings.

Tony Reed initially was charged with murder. Prosecutors later revised the charges after confirming that the younger Reed was rock hunting in Ellensburg when Shunn and Patenaude were shot.

John Reed went to Ellensburg the day of the killings and persuaded his brother to return to Oso with him, court papers said. Tony Reed told investigators he didn’t know about Shunn and Patenaude until he saw their bodies lying in their vehicles parked out outside his brother’s former home.

Tony Reed faces up to 14 months in prison for his part in helping John Reed.

The prospect of spending several more months in the Snohomish County Jail didn’t sit well with him Monday.

“I’d like to get the (expletive) out of here,” Reed told his attorney before the hearing.

His lawyer asked to reset the sentencing for December, saying he didn’t want his client waiting in limbo while prosecutors figure out what to do with John Reed. His client would rather do his time in prison than the county jail, James Kirkham explained.

Even if he isn’t sentenced until April, the defendant will have been in custody less than a year, Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Craig Matheson said.

Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Ellen Fair agreed to delay the sentencing until April 17.

The Reeds’ parents also are charged with rendering criminal assistance. Clyde and Faye Reed allegedly provided their sons with a getaway car and money and helped hide evidence. Both parents have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

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

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