EVERETT — A traveling nurse and her boyfriend were “known to carry pistols” and had a “history of domestic disputes” before she fatally shot him earlier this month, according to new charges filed in Snohomish County.
On Friday, prosecutors charged Shawntea Grimes Hamilton, 29, with second-degree murder.
Superior Court Judge Jennifer Langbehn issued a $1 million warrant for Hamilton’s arrest Friday. As of Tuesday, she hadn’t been arrested.
Earlier this month, police found Hamilton’s partner, Christopher Wilson, deceased from multiple gunshot wounds in his Everett apartment, charging papers say. Accounts from neighbors and surveillance footage suggested Hamilton had been at the Baker Avenue apartment after an argument the night of the shooting.
Hamilton and Wilson, originally from Michigan, had reportedly been dating since September 2019, deputy prosecutor Katherine Wetmore wrote in the charges filed Friday. Both were traveling nurses.
Wilson was working at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett, while the defendant had reportedly cut contact with the traveling nurse company she worked for when she failed to show up for an assignment in Spokane in May, charges say. She has no permanent residence or mailing addresses in Washington.
Around 11 p.m. June 9, footage showed the couple getting into an argument outside Wilson’s apartment complex in the 2600 block of Baker Avenue. Hamilton called her partner’s mother, accusing him of taking her Chevrolet Cobalt on their way back from Tulalip Resort Casino earlier that night , the charges say.
Security footage showed them leaving the area, then returning in the early morning hours.
A neighbor was awoken sometime before 5:30 a.m. by a loud thud and “three pops” in the apartment above, she reported an hour or so later. She suspected they might be gunshots, but also noted Wilson may have been moving out. Police tried to get in the apartment, but reportedly left when they were unable to.
By the time the neighbor called 911 and officers arrived, detectives believe Hamilton had already left the apartment complex, as security footage reportedly shows her running to her Chevy.
At 9:30 a.m., the same neighbor reportedly found what appeared to be a bullet hole in the ceiling and drywall dust on her bed, according to court documents. This time, police got into the apartment, where they discovered Wilson’s body in the bedroom, with gunshot wounds to the torso. He was 31.
Investigators found a .45-caliber pistol in a holster near Wilson’s body, charging papers say. Police believe the gun was not drawn out of the holster or fired at the time of the shooting. Records indicate Hamilton bought a Glock 9 mm handgun in July 2020, consistent with the three bullets fired and nine 9 mm cartridge casings found around the bedroom, charges say.
Prosecutors allege Hamilton shot Wilson four or five times. Based on the autopsy, police believe the muzzle of the gun was no more than 2 feet away.
Cell phone records showed Hamilton’s phone had been in southeastern Marysville the next morning, according to prosecutors. The defendant reportedly missed 29 calls between June 10 and 12 before it was disconnected from the cell tower. Investigators believe Hamilton discarded her phone while in Marysville and the battery died.
A Herald reporter’s call to Hamilton’s phone number Tuesday was rejected because the phone was no longer in service.
Everett Major Crimes detectives notified the public about the case 11 days after the homicide. Releasing information was delayed due to investigators’ concerns that the suspect would flee, Everett officer Ora Hamel said Wednesday.
Court papers suggest Hamilton had no criminal record. The couple “had lived together on and off in hotels during their travel nursing and had a history of domestic disputes,” according to the charges. No other information about that alleged history is listed in the charging papers.