EVERETT — John Reed had a choice, according to prosecutors.
Monique Patenaude was shot in the arm. She was unlikely to fight back. Reed could have stopped there.
If so, he would have been charged with assault instead of aggravated murder, deputy prosecutor Andrew Alsdorf said Tuesday in closing arguments in Snohomish County Superior Court.
“He was committed between shot No. 1 and shot No. 2 that killed Monique,” Alsdorf said.
“Monique did not have to die.”
Prosecutors allege Reed acted with premeditation in the shootings of Patenaude, 46, and her husband, Patrick Shunn, 45. They say Shunn was executed hours after his wife, as he returned home from work on April 11, 2016.
Reed has admitted to killing the couple, saying they attacked him and he defended himself. The trio had a long-standing feud over property lines and driveway access.
In a full day of testimony Friday, Reed told jurors he “panicked” after the confrontation and hid the bodies, vehicles and cellphones in the woods.
“What you saw on Friday was a cynical and calculated effort to make up a story … ” said Craig Matheson, the county’s chief criminal deputy prosecutor. “Like most lies, you go a layer or two deep and the facts just don’t support it.”
Autopsy results counter Reed’s claim that Patenaude was intoxicated, Matheson said.
Reed’s defense attorney, Phil Sayles, said the alleged coverup would have been “the worst plan ever.” Reed said much of the evidence against him — such as leaving behind black gloves with DNA inside and shooting up the couple’s laptop that was linked to a trail camera — was the result of him not knowing what he was doing.
Sayles accused prosecutors of overloading jurors with details about the couple’s pets and the plastic sheeting from the crime scenes, while adding “bombastic inferences.” His client admitted to a lot of “stupid decisions,” but not to murder, he said.
“My guy sits here an innocent man. … Did they establish anything to make him a guilty man?” he asked. “I propose there’s nothing here.”
Alsdorf argued that people don’t cover up self-defense.
Patenaude and Shunn repeatedly had reported concerns about Reed to the authorities, including police, since at least 2013. Never had they been violent toward him, Alsdorf said.
When Reed and Patenaude last crossed paths, he was supposed to be moving away from Oso. He could have left the dispute — and the neighbors — behind, Alsdorf said. Instead, Patenaude was shot, setting off the chain of events that led Reed to leave the country.
“Since John Reed fled to Mexico, he’s been thinking of this day. What would he say on Friday?” Alsdorf said. “He knew what he was doing when he took that life.”
Jurors began deliberations Tuesday afternoon. Reed, 55, faces life in prison if convicted.