MARYSVILLE — An Arlington woman went to check on a friend she hadn’t heard from in a few days.
James Thrower, 65, of Marysville, didn’t answer the door on the morning of Jan. 4. So she let herself in.
It smelled like gasoline, she later told police.
She searched the house, calling Thrower’s name, but got no answer. A couch had been pushed up against the outside of a guest bedroom door. The friend knocked. Thrower’s old roommate answered, shirtless, barefoot, in blue jeans, with “three scratches across the left side of his chest running diagonal toward the middle of his chest,” according to court papers filed by the Snohomish County Prosecutor’s Office.
Detectives believe Anthony Boggess, 30, killed Thrower, wrapped his body in a tarp and planned to burn the house down, but was foiled by the friend who stumbled upon the crime scene.
Boggess was charged this week with first-degree murder and first-degree attempted arson. He “does not appear to have a stable address given (Thrower) was the one who provided the defendant a shelter from the cold before the defendant killed him,” deputy prosecutor Martina Wong wrote in the charges.
Boggess had told Thrower’s friend in the past that “demons tell him to hurt people,” according to the charges. She also told police Boggess was diagnosed with schizophrenia, and that Thrower had once taken him to a psychiatric ward in Everett.
After days on the run, Boggess admitted to the crime in an interview with Marysville police, the charges say.
Boggess recounted he and Thrower were drinking on the porch Dec. 31, the charges say. Boggess became “flushed,” he reported, and felt he was going to “lose control and do something.”
Thrower reportedly asked Boggess to leave. Boggess was headed to the front door, then turned, grabbed Thrower by the neck and strangled him, he reportedly told police.
Boggess reported he wrapped Thrower’s body in a tarp. The defendant told police he planned to burn down Thrower’s house by dousing the place in gasoline, turning on propane tanks and throwing a Molotov cocktail inside, according to the charges.
Over the next five days, Boggess answered texts on Thrower’s phone to “keep people away,” according to the charges. Friends grew concerned when they received unusual texts, saying things like “ttyl,” which Thrower wouldn’t write.
At the guest bedroom door on Jan. 4, the friend asked Boggess where Thrower was. Boggess reportedly claimed he and Thrower had been attacked by two other men, and that she would need to call somebody. He told the woman he had heard Thrower scream, the charges say. Thrower was dead, Boggess reportedly told her.
He started walking toward the friend, the charges say. She got nervous and said she was calling the police.
Boggess put on a T-shirt and slid on brown work boots.
The friend stepped onto the porch and called 911. She also called a coworker who showed up to the home.
By the time Marysville police arrived, Boggess had fled. Officers walked through the house, took a missing person report and left, according to the charges.
The friend and her coworker went back inside to get Thrower’s keys to lock up his house. In the living room, they found a 5-gallon drum full of gasoline, with an inflatable raft or air mattress on top of the drum. They didn’t want to leave it there, so they went into the garage in search of a spot to put it.
There, they found something wrapped in a gray tarp on the floor.
They called police again.
An autopsy confirmed Thrower had been strangled.
Police put out a public bulletin saying Boggess was wanted for questioning.
Boggess was arrested Jan. 7 in Seattle, then booked into the Snohomish County Jail for investigation of second-degree murder and first-degree attempted arson. He remained behind bars Thursday with bail set at $1 million.
Court records show Boggess had no felony record, and he had never been in trouble with the law in Washington until a disorderly conduct arrest in June 2020.
Ellen Dennis: 425-339-3486; email@example.com; Twitter: @reporterellen.
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