Lloyd Richmond (left) and attorney Samantha Sommerman appear at an Everett District Court bail hearing Monday. (Herald staff)

Lloyd Richmond (left) and attorney Samantha Sommerman appear at an Everett District Court bail hearing Monday. (Herald staff)

Landlord, 84, accused of killing missing tenant near Everett

Detectives believe the homeowner shot his renter, who disappeared Aug. 28, and disposed of the body.

EVERETT — An 84-year-old Everett-area man is accused of shooting and killing one of his tenants late last month after an argument.

Lloyd Richmond was arrested Friday night and booked into the Snohomish County Jail for investigation of second-degree murder and first-degree assault.

On Tuesday afternoon, Richmond’s bail was set at $1 million by Everett District Court Judge Pro Tempore Remy Leonard.

Richmond owns and lives in a house in the 8800 block of Del Campo Way, court papers say. He rents out multiple rooms in the home to tenants.

On the afternoon of Saturday, Aug. 28, several neighbors reported hearing an argument between Richmond and one of his tenants, according to the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office.

One neighbor told detectives she heard a loud argument between Richmond and one of his tenants in Richmond’s garage. She went to her room, she reported, and heard a loud “pop” sound about 30 minutes later.

Another neighbor was out on his patio around 2:30 p.m. that Saturday. The neighbor heard three distinct loud noises that sounded like low-caliber gunshots, he told detectives.

The neighbor reportedly saw Richmond get a gray tarp, “wrap something” in the driveway and load it into the bed of his Dodge pickup, according to court papers. The neighbor described the size and shape of the wrapped-up item as “human-sized and heavy looking.”

The neighbor later saw Richmond spread some type of “litter or absorbent” to cover up a red stain on the driveway, he reported.

In the hours that followed, the neighbor reported he noticed that a black Honda Civic, which he believed belonged to one of the home’s tenants, was no longer parked outside the house.

The next day, on Saturday, the neighbor saw Richmond move the wrapped-up item from the bed of his Dodge into a red Chevy Trailblazer. Richmond left the house and did not return for seven hours, the neighbor reported.

Lloyd Richmond (Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office)

Lloyd Richmond (Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office)

The neighbor called the sheriff’s office the following day to report what he’d seen. He did not call 911, he reported, for fear of his safety and concerns that Richmond’s home was a “drug house” in which meth was being made.

Another neighbor reported they witnessed Richmond loading a “mound” wrapped in a tarp into the bed of his truck. The elderly man used a boat trailer winch to lift the wrapped item, the neighbor reported to detectives.

On Thursday, a Snohomish County sheriff’s detective went to Richmond’s house. The man was not home, according to court documents. A detective got permission from a female tenant to collect a sample from the red stain in Richmond’s driveway. Its contents tested positive for blood, court papers say.

The woman reported to detectives that she overheard the argument between Richmond and another tenant on Saturday and hadn’t seen the tenant since. She reportedly spoke to Richmond about the incident. Richmond told her he’d wanted the missing man to move out of the home and paid him $1,000 to leave. The woman told detectives she’d never seen Richmond with a gun, nor had she ever seen a gun in the house.

Richmond had his Dodge pickup towed to an auto rebuild shop at some point following the argument. Employees at the shop reportedly observed blood inside the cab of the truck.

A friend of Richmond reported the man told her “it was self-defense,” “no one would believe him” and that he planned to leave town and travel as far south as he could.

Richmond was arrested Friday. Detectives wrote they observed bruising on both his arms, consistent with lifting a heavy object. Detectives also observed red marks on his shoes consistent with blood splatters.

The presumed victim, a 49-year-old Everett man, was last heard from on Aug. 28. Detectives had not located the man as of Tuesday afternoon. Nor had they recovered a gun associated with the alleged attack.

Defense attorney Samantha Sommerman argued there was no probable cause for the murder charges.

“There’s no body, there’s no weapon, there’s no eyewitness,” the defense attorney said in court Tuesday. “The point of probable cause hearings like this is that when you don’t have basic elements that point to the charge of murder, then you don’t have probable cause to hold someone.”

Deputy prosecutor Bob Hendrix asked the judge to set Richmond’s bail at $1 million.

“This is a violent crime that shows calculation after the act was allegedly committed,” the prosecutor said in court. “I have to point out, counsel is right. No body has been recovered. No firearm has been recovered. The only person who would appear to have knowledge of both of those is the defendant.”

The judge sided with the deputy prosecutor.

Richmond was in custody at the Snohomish County Jail Tuesday afternoon. He has not been formally charged.

The investigation remains active, the Sheriff’s Office said. Information related to the case can be reported to the office tip line at 425-388-3845.

Ellen Dennis: 425-339-3486; edennis@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @reporterelle

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