Tied up and nearly naked, a homeless man died of exposure

A woman and two men have been arrested in Everett in the fatal plot to rob Michael Boone, 46.

EVERETT — A woman distracted a man by kissing him in the woods at an Everett cemetery while a robber sneaked up and beat him, tied him to a tree and left him to die of exposure, according to new police reports.

Donita Burkley was booked into jail early Thursday for investigation of second-degree murder in the death of Michael T. Boone, 46.

Two other men were arrested — one for investigation of second-degree murder, one for investigation of first-degree robbery — later Thursday, Everett police Sgt. Maryjane Hacker said.

Boone had no sign of deadly trauma when his body was found at 1 p.m. Jan. 4, days after he was tied up in the woods at the northwest corner of the Evergreen Funeral Home & Cemetery, off Broadway and 41st Street.

“It was, however, obvious that the male was alive after being tied, as all the debris around him had been pushed aside and piled as if he had been attempting to get up and was unable to due to the manner in which he was tied,” wrote Everett police detective Steve Brenneman. “Additionally, there were injuries/abrasions on his arms that suggested he struggled to free himself after being tied to the tree.”

An autopsy showed Boone died of exposure.

A tip led police to Burkley, 33, and one of her male friends, 40. A different man is suspected of beating Boone. Court papers say Boone asked the friend about paying someone for sex on New Year’s Eve. They came up with a deal in which he offered up to $200 for a night with the woman. According to what Burkley told detectives, she planned to string him along and make him pay for a hotel but not sleep with him.

Security cameras showed Burkley, Boone, her friend and a third man — the suspected attacker — trying to withdraw cash from an ATM around 2 a.m. According to the woman’s story, she went to the man’s homeless camp off 41st. Once she started to kiss him, the third man ran up and attacked Boone with a stick. He’s accused of choking Boone until he passed out, tying him up and leaving him clothed in only a white undershirt, underwear and one sock.

That morning it dipped to 33 degrees. Over the next three days, it drizzled.

Boone was homeless, living in Everett. This week the Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office classified the death as homicide.

The woman’s friend reportedly told police that Burkley and the alleged attacker came up with a plan for a robbery when they realized Boone had money. Burkley reportedly told her friend to go back to their camp to get a knife. The man told police he left, got high at his tent and passed out — never returning.

The next thing he knew, Burkley came back to their tent and told him what happened, according to his report.

Police booked Burkley into the Snohomish County Jail around 2 a.m. Thursday.

Everett District Court Judge Tam Bui set bail at $1 million.

Just after her bail hearing, police booked a man, 26, into jail for investigation of second-degree murder. And a couple of hours later, Burkley’s friend was arrested, too. He’s accused of first-degree robbery. Police haven’t confirmed exactly what he’s suspected of doing.

Burkley reportedly told police in an interview Thursday that after Boone was tied up, she went through his pockets and took his jacket, while the accomplice took Boone’s phone, wallet and clothes.

Hours later, she walked past the graveyard but did not check on Boone.

Caleb Hutton: 425-339-3454; chutton@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @snocaleb.

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