Edmond Overton enters the Snohomish County Courthouse on the opening day of his trial for first degree murder on Jan. 29 in Everett. (Andy Bronson / Herald file)

Edmond Overton enters the Snohomish County Courthouse on the opening day of his trial for first degree murder on Jan. 29 in Everett. (Andy Bronson / Herald file)

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Everett man guilty of home invasion that ended in murder

A jury heard closing arguments Friday in the trial of Edmond Overton. He was found guilty by 4 p.m.

EVERETT — A jury found Edmond Overton guilty of murder Friday afternoon for a home invasion robbery that left one Everett man dead and another with a gunshot wound to the head.

Jurors began deliberating around noon. By 4 p.m. they had concluded Overton, 26, was the masked man who broke into an apartment at Colby Avenue and 22nd Street in October 2017.

On the witness stand, Nicholus Leman recounted how the man broke in and beat him that night, and how he fought back and shocked the assailant with a stun gun on the back of the neck. In a struggle, Overton fired a round that lodged in between Leman’s scalp and skull.

As he fled, Overton fired a second shot into the apartment. It struck and and killed Darren Larson. He was 55.

Overton’s then-girlfriend, Vanessa Grimmett, 21, testified last week that she’d seen Overton put on a mask and go into the apartment — where the couple knew, from staying there in the past, they could steal cash and drugs.

“There is no more compelling evidence” that could be offered than Grimmett’s eyewitness testimony of the heist and the effort to cover it up, deputy prosecutor Jacqueline Lawrence said in her closing argument.

Defense attorney Jon Scott tried to cast doubt on testimony that pointed to Overton as the shooter. That night, he noted, nobody in the apartment identified Overton as the gunman, even though people there knew him by name. One witness did eventually tell police that the masked suspect had the same unusual style of walking as Overton.

More than two years ago, Grimmett pleaded guilty to first-degree robbery, and she was sentenced to almost 8½ years behind bars.

Another woman, Laura Johnson, provided the getaway car, and sat outside while Overton broke in. She pleaded guilty to the same charge as Grimmett last month, and on Thursday she was handed the exact same prison sentence.

Overton faces a much longer prison term at sentencing in early March. He was found guilty of first-degree murder with a firearm and first-degree assault with a firearm on Friday.

At the time of the homicide, Grimmett was pregnant. Overton was going to be the father. In a snippet of a recorded phone call from jail that was played for the jury, Overton told her he wished he could have been with her when the baby was born, but that he’d messed up. (Overton used stronger language.)

“Those aren’t the words of a man who’s being completely backstabbed and betrayed by Ms. Grimmett,” Lawrence said.

The defense attorney argued it would be “ludicrous” to assume that Overton was admitting to guilt, based on a six-second clip of a call, without context. Scott said Overton could’ve been talking about any other screw up in his life.

Caleb Hutton: 425-339-3454; chutton@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @snocaleb.

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