Murder trial begins for man accused of lawyer stabbings

EVERETT — No lawyers were injured on Thursday as a murder trial got under way for an Everett man accused of stabbing three of his previous attorneys.

Joshua Monson, 28, was seated at a separate table, away from his latest attorney, Walter Peale. Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Larry McKeeman initially ordered Monson’s hands to be restrained. He decided to allow the defendant to have one hand free if he agreed to be seated away from Peale.

Monson also is strapped to his chair and has restraints under his clothing. He also is wearing an electric stun cuff that corrections officers can activate if he gets out of line.

Courtroom furniture was rearranged to keep the restraints out of the sight of jurors.

Prosecutors asked for the extra security measures because Monson is accused of stabbing three of his attorneys with smuggled pencils and one lawyer with the attorney’s own pen. Monson ended up representing himself last year in a felony drug trial after he allegedly stabbed his third attorney in front of jurors.

The jury isn’t expected to hear about those incidents or the handful of other assaults on corrections officers.

Monson is charged with first-degree murder with a firearm and unlawful gun possession in connection with a Jan. 2, 2011, shooting.

An unarmed Brian Jones, 30, was talking on a cellphone when he was shot in the back of the head at close range, according to court documents. A witness reportedly told detectives that Monson admitted that he killed Jones, court papers say. Other witnesses said that there may have been bad blood between the two because of a woman.

Monson denies killing Jones.

Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Valerie Bouffiou told jurors on Thursday that a couple of days before the fatal shooting, Monson asked a woman if he could “waste someone” in her apartment. The prosecutor also said that Monson’s genetic evidence was found on the gun used to kill Jones.

She advised jurors that they would be hearing from a cast of drug addicts whose lifestyles may be difficult to understand. The defendant and Jones, 30, had been smoking methamphetamine in the hours leading up to the shooting. She also explained that three other people in the apartment heard the gunfire but didn’t see the shooting.

Police initially arrested one of those men before their investigation led them to Monson.

Peale pointed out that the detectives believe they arrested the wrong guy the first time.

“Did they get it wrong the second time? That’s the question before you,” Peale told jurors.

Some of the scientific evidence that the prosecutors are relying on to pin the murder on Monson isn’t conclusive, Peale said.

Monson’s genetic material was found on the gun because it belonged to him. That doesn’t prove that he killed Jones, the veteran defense attorney said. Additionally, there is evidence suggesting that the shot could have come from different locations in the apartment, making it impossible to know who is responsible for the death.

“Four people could have fired the fatal shot,” Peale said.

Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; hefley@heraldnet.com.

Talk to us

More in Local News

This photo provided by OceanGate Expeditions shows a submersible vessel named Titan used to visit the wreckage site of the Titanic. In a race against the clock on the high seas, an expanding international armada of ships and airplanes searched Tuesday, June 20, 2023, for the submersible that vanished in the North Atlantic while taking five people down to the wreck of the Titanic. (OceanGate Expeditions via AP)
A new movie based on OceanGate’s Titan submersible tragedy is in the works: ‘Salvaged’

MindRiot announced the film, a fictional project titled “Salvaged,” on Friday.

Craig Hess (Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office)
Sultan’s new police chief has 22 years in law enforcement

Craig Hess was sworn in Sep. 14. The Long Island-born cop was a first-responder on 9/11. He also served as Gold Bar police chief.

Cars move across Edgewater Bridge toward Everett on Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2023, in Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Edgewater Bridge redo linking Everett, Mukilteo delayed until mid-2024

The project, now with an estimated cost of $27 million, will detour West Mukilteo Boulevard foot and car traffic for a year.

Lynn Deeken, the Dean of Arts, Learning Resources & Pathways at EvCC, addresses a large gathering during the ribbon cutting ceremony of the new Cascade Learning Center on Thursday, Sept. 28, 2023, at Everett Community College in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
New EvCC learning resource center opens to students, public

Planners of the Everett Community College building hope it will encourage students to use on-campus tutoring resources.

Everett Police Chief Dan Templeman announces his retirement after 31 years of service at the Everett City Council meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Everett police chief to retire at the end of October

Chief Dan Templeman announced his retirement at Wednesday’s City Council meeting. He has been chief for nine years.

Boeing employees watch the KC-46 Pegasus delivery event  from the air stairs at Boeing on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019 in Everett, Wa. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Boeing’s iconic Everett factory tour to resume in October

After a three-year hiatus, tours of the Boeing Company’s enormous jet assembly plant are back at Paine Field.

A memorial for a 15-year-old shot and killed last week is set up at a bus stop along Harrison Road on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Teen boy identified in fatal shooting at Everett bus stop

Bryan Tamayo-Franco, 15, was shot at a Hardeson Road bus stop earlier this month. Police arrested two suspects.

Lynnwood
Woman killed in crash on Highway 99 in Lynnwood

Police closed off Highway 99 between 188th Street SW and 196th Street SW while they investigated.

Mike Bredstrand, who is trying to get back his job with Lake Stevens Public Works, stands in front of the department’s building on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023, in Lake Stevens, Washington. Bredstrand believes his firing in July was an unwarranted act of revenge by the city. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Lake Stevens worker was fired after getting court order against boss

The city has reportedly spent nearly $60,000 on attorney and arbitration fees related to Mike Bredstrand, who wants his job back.

Most Read