Snohomish County detective Dave Fontenot (center) is hugged as friends and family of Monique Patenaude and Patrick Shunn react to the guilty verdict for John Reed at the Snohomish County Courthouse on Wednesday in Everett. At right,Snohomish County chief criminal deputy prosecutor Craig Matheson talks with Shunn’s parents (left). (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Snohomish County detective Dave Fontenot (center) is hugged as friends and family of Monique Patenaude and Patrick Shunn react to the guilty verdict for John Reed at the Snohomish County Courthouse on Wednesday in Everett. At right, Snohomish County chief criminal deputy prosecutor Craig Matheson talks with Shunn’s parents (left). (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Jury finds John Reed guilty in murders of his Oso neighbors

Patrick Shunn and Monique Patenaude were shot to death after a long-running dispute with Reed.

EVERETT — Patrick Shunn and Monique Patenaude made a beautiful home for themselves on acreage near Oso.

He commuted to Kirkland each day so they could have the lifestyle they wanted.

But they made a “fatal mistake of geography,” according to prosecutors.

On Wednesday afternoon, their former neighbor, John Reed, 55, was convicted of their murders.

Reed was found guilty of aggravated first-degree murder in Shunn’s death. Jurors determined the killing was premeditated. They also found Reed guilty of second-degree murder in Patenaude’s death.

In addition, Reed was convicted of illegal possession of a firearm, as he had a prior felony.

The verdict followed a trial that lasted 2½ weeks in Snohomish County Superior Court. Jurors deliberated for about 4½ hours Tuesday and Wednesday.

John Reed during his trial. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

John Reed during his trial. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

The couple’s families asked for privacy after the verdict was read. They cried and embraced one another in the crowded courtroom.

Under state law, Reed only can be sentenced to life without parole. That hearing is set for July 6.

Shunn, 45, and Patenaude, 46, lived on Whitman Road. Their gated driveway provided easement access to Reed’s property. Problems between him and the couple were documented back to at least 2013.

The next year, Reed’s land was damaged by the Oso mudslide. He took a federal disaster buyout weeks before the killings. He continued to live there illegally, however. Patenaude had reported him for squatting.

Patrick Shunn (left) and Monique Patenaude. (Family photo)

Patrick Shunn (left) and Monique Patenaude. (Family photo)

Reed claimed the couple attacked him on April 11, 2016, and he shot them in self-defense. He said Patenaude was hit first, followed by her husband. Reed said he “panicked” and hid the bodies and other evidence in the woods and in a ravine, recruiting his brother to help.

Police and prosecutors believe Patenaude was defenseless when she was shot three times, including a “coup de grace” bullet to the head. They say Shunn was ambushed hours later in his driveway as he returned home from work. He was shot in the back of the head, likely without seeing or hearing his assailant.

Their bodies were recovered six weeks later. Reed was arrested that July, after his brother surrendered at the U.S.-Mexico border, supposedly at John Reed’s insistence. The brother, Tony Reed, spent time in prison for his role in the case. Their parents are charged with felonies, accused of assisting with the getaway.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @rikkiking.

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