Suspect jailed in slaying of man in Tulalip

TULALIP — Detectives have arrested a suspect in the June 19 killing of a man whose body was found on the Tulalip Indian Reservation.

Steven D. Steadman, 58, was shot in the head over pain medication, according to the arrest report.

The suspect, Michael Stowell, 30, was booked into the Snohomish County Jail late Thursday for investigation of second-degree murder. The Marysville man appeared Friday in court.

His defense attorney Rob O’Neal argued that the police report supplied so far didn’t provide enough evidence to hold Stowell for investigation of murder.

“He may have had contact, but there’s no evidence that he possessed a weapon or was involved,” O’Neal said.

Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Bob Langbehn told the judge that Stowell lied to police and was the last person to see the victim alive.

Everett District Court Judge Anthony Howard said he reviewed an 11-page search warrant the day before detailing the investigation. He ordered Stowell held on $1 million bail.

A passerby called 911 after finding a man down an embankment along 14th Avenue NE. Detectives believe the body was moved there.

Steadman was last seen by family earlier June 19 in Everett. The suspect reportedly used Steadman’s phone to text the slain main’s family after his death. Steadman’s daughter was told to give the suspect all of Steadman’s pain medication, detectives wrote. The texts continued for at least two days after the killing.

By then, Stowell reportedly had dyed his hair and made plans to travel to California.

He gave police conflicting statements about his whereabouts over the past week. He also allegedly said he had thrown away items belonging to Steadman, including a wheelchair and a backpack.

Detectives late Thursday obtained permission to search Stowell’s home and vehicle for potential evidence. Ammunition and prescription bottles in Steadman’s name reportedly were seen in his possession.

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

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