Clyde (left) and Faye Reed make their way into the courtroom Thursday in Everett, where they pleaded guilty to helping their son flee after he killed his two Oso neighbors. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Clyde (left) and Faye Reed make their way into the courtroom Thursday in Everett, where they pleaded guilty to helping their son flee after he killed his two Oso neighbors. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Oso killer’s parents plead guilty to helping him evade capture

They provided their son with a vehicle and cash before he fled to Mexico after killing his neighbors.

EVERETT — The parents of John Reed, the Oso killer, pleaded guilty Thursday, admitting they helped their son flee the country after a calculated double murder.

Clyde Reed, 83, and Faye Reed, 79, became entangled in the case in 2016, when they were each charged with rendering criminal assistance, a felony, for giving their son a getaway car and cash.

Clyde Reed arrived in a Snohomish County courtroom Thursday with the aid of a walker, breathing through oxygen tubes. His wife walked with a cane. Both parents pleaded guilty to obstructing law enforcement, a misdemeanor. A sentencing hearing has been set for Sept. 11.

John Reed, 55, shot his neighbors, Monique Patenaude and Patrick Shunn, in April 2016, over a land dispute in the aftermath of the Oso mudslide. They were executed, according to prosecutors. John Reed recruited his brother, Tony Reed, to help hide the bodies off a logging road.

After the burial, the brothers visited their parents in Ellensburg, according to testimony at trial. The brothers then drove through Arizona on their way to Mexico.

Early in the investigation, Snohomish County sheriff’s detectives searched the elder Reeds’ home. They found a vehicle with blood inside.

Faye Reed walks from the bench after pleading guilty Thursday at the Snohomish County Courthouse in Everett. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Faye Reed walks from the bench after pleading guilty Thursday at the Snohomish County Courthouse in Everett. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

The parents admitted to providing their sons the means to escape, according to investigators. They also transferred the title of John Reed’s truck to his mother’s name.

In a search warrant from 2016, detectives wrote: “John and Tony’s parents have made it clear that they would not assist law enforcement in apprehending their sons, in fact, they are doing the complete opposite by assisting their sons in avoiding apprehension.”

Faye Reed told a detective that “if she contacted her sons first, she would shoot them herself because she wouldn’t want to see them go to prison,” detectives wrote.

Clyde Reed reportedly told investigators that he cleaned John Reed’s truck because it was dirty. When police arrived, the mats were missing.

Detectives found John Reed’s parents had tried to funnel tens of thousands of dollars to their son, three days after his neighbors went missing. Police were able to freeze those transactions.

John Reed went to trial earlier this year. A jury convicted him in May of aggravated first-degree murder in Shunn’s death. Jurors found the killing was premeditated. They also found him guilty of second-degree murder in Patenaude’s death.

Judge Anita Farris reads Clyde Reed (right) his legal rights after he pleaded guilty Thursday at the Snohomish County Courthouse in Everett. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Judge Anita Farris reads Clyde Reed (right) his legal rights after he pleaded guilty Thursday at the Snohomish County Courthouse in Everett. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Shunn was 45. Patenaude was 46.

On July 6, the killer was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, the only option for the judge under state law. Reed now is at a state prison in Shelton.

Tony Reed, 51, spent time behind bars for the coverup. He testified against his brother as part of a plea agreement.

“At the time,” he said, “I thought we were getting away with it.”

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

Talk to us

More in Local News

Sunlight illuminates a framed photograph of Mila and Wilfrido Sarmiento while their daughter Rowella Sarmiento cries reading her statement to the court during Caleb Wride’s sentencing on Monday, Nov. 28, 2022 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
At sentencing, family mourns parents killed in fatal DUI crash

Caleb Wride, 23, of Everett, was sentenced Monday for the head-on crash that killed Mila and Wilfrido Sarmiento.

The Smith Ave homelessness camp Thursday afternoon in Everett on March 11, 2021. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Audit: Snohomish County lacks data-driven approach to homeless services

The Washington State Auditor’s Office this month published a 73-page report looking into four local governments across the state.

(Dutton)
Pulitzer winner’s new book digs into Snohomish County cold case killings

The Everett library will host a talk with Edward Humes on “The Forever Witness,” about a double murder and pioneering DNA evidence.

Marysville Jail (City of Marysville)
Man with hepatitis C accused of spitting on Marysville jail staff

Hepatitis C is usually spread through blood. The suspect, 28, faces allegations of exposing the officers to a contagious disease.

Lawmakers meet on the Senate floor, Thursday, March 10, 2022, at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash. Washington lawmakers were wrapping up their work Thursday with final votes on a supplemental state budget and a transportation revenue package before planning to adjourn the legislative session. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Crime, climate, abortion on docket in legislative session warm-up

Washington lawmakers will hold 39 hearings this week. Nearly all will be conducted in person, which hasn’t happened in three years.

Logo for news use featuring Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
New director named for county’s Department of Emergency Managment

After six years, Jason Biermann has stepped aside but will stay in Snohomish County. Lucia Schmit will move in from Seattle.

Lynnwood
Man taken into custody after threats, standoff at Lynnwood business

After four hours, a SWAT team detained the man, who claimed to have a gun and barricaded himself in the 17700 block of Highway 99.

Everett
1 killed in south Everett crash, shooting

On Friday, police responded to reports of gunfire. They found a man trapped in a rolled vehicle, with an apparent gunshot wound.

Snohomish County vital statistics

Marriage licenses, dissolutions and deaths.

Most Read