Woman charged with murder in air rifle case

EVERETT — A Lynnwood woman now stands charged with murder, accused of killing a man with an air rifle that she used to scare off rats.

Emergency crews found Dean Urness, 52, down on the ground last month. He had been shot in the chest. Urness died in the back of an ambulance before an aid crew could get him to a hospital. A copper BB was later removed from his right lung.

Michelle Davidson, 32, is accused of shooting Urness during an early morning dispute. Prosecutors on Friday charged her with second-degree murder. They allege that Davidson intended to assault Urness and as a result caused his death. She is expected to answer to the charge Monday in Snohomish County Superior Court. Davidson remained in jail on $250,000 bail.

Witnesses reported seeing Davidson with an air rifle on March 31 while her boyfriend argued with Urness. A witness said Urness fell to the ground at one point. He was moaning and bleeding from the mouth and nose. No one reported hearing a gunshot or seeing Davidson fire the air rifle, court papers said.

A homicide detective later interviewed Davidson. She told him a “pump BB gun” was left on the property and she was using it for “rodent control,” according to court papers.

She said she had been holding the gun at the time of the argument, but denied firing any weapon, according to a search warrant.

Detectives located a Daisy Powerline 860 air rifle with scope inside Davidson’s motor home. The gun was loaded with several copper BBs, Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Francesca Yahyavi wrote.

Witnesses said problems began brewing the day before the shooting.

The slain man’s girlfriend used to live on the Damson Road property and returned there, uninvited. Davidson’s boyfriend, allegedly armed with a baseball bat, chased her off.

The man told police he was the caretaker there, responsible for keeping problems away. Davidson reportedly told police she and the man were in charge of clearing “all the riffraff out,” court papers said. Police counted more than a dozen vehicles on the property, including motor homes and travel trailers.

Urness and his girlfriend returned to the property early March 31. Davidson’s boyfriend found them sleeping in a Chevy Suburban. He threw cold water on the woman and demanded she leave.

Urness reportedly came to the woman’s defense. He and the man begin to argue. Some witnesses said the men exchanged blows. Urness was unarmed. Davidson’s boyfriend told police Urness head-butted him in the mouth.

He said Urness was a “usually pretty calm, passive guy.” When he told Urness he wanted him to leave, he agreed to go, the man told police. He saw Urness reach out his hand toward a wall. That’s when he collapsed. The man told police he didn’t believe that Davidson needed to protect him, Yahyavi wrote.

Another man staying at the property told detectives he saw Davidson two to three feet away from Urness, holding a rifle. He said he saw her pump the handle. A short time later, while his back was to the commotion, he heard a thud. He turned to see Urness on the floor in the garage.

The defendant said when Urness fell to the ground, she heard him grunting. She said she turned away because she doesn’t “deal with death well,” court papers said. The woman stuck the gun in a closet in her motor home, where police later found it.

The first deputy on scene was told that Urness had hit his head.

Medics advised the deputy that Urness had an obvious gunshot wound. The Snohomish County medical examiner later concluded that Urness died from a BB fired by a powerful air rifle into his chest.

State Department of Health data show only one reported death from an air rifle in Washington between 2007 and 2011.

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

Talk to us

More in Local News

Monroe High School with (inset) a Facebook video screenshot from Nov. 10, 2021, which showed a white student repeatedly using racial slurs in a confrontation with a Black student.
‘It makes me angry’: Black students in Monroe report persistent racism

“Please help stop this racism,” a first-grade student told the Monroe school board Monday. Other kids reported racist slurs.

Zachary Robbins
Marysville superintendent could start a month early

A June start means Zachary Robbins could weigh in on a $13.5 million budget shortfall and a parental consent policy for clubs.

Arlington
Driver dies after rollover crash at Smokey Point

The deceased man, 25, reportedly sped off from police before crashing into a nearby utility pole. A woman, 19, was injured.

FILE - In this Oct. 24, 2020, file photo, a Washington state Department of Agriculture worker holds two of the dozens of Asian giant hornets vacuumed from a tree in Blaine, Wash. Authorities say they've found the first Asian giant hornet nest of 2021 in a rural area east of Blaine. State entomologists will now develop a plan to eradicate the nest. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
Scientists will set 1,000 traps for murder hornets this year

Asian giant hornets, first detected in 2019, are are believed to be confined in Whatcom County.

Lynnwood City Council member George Hurst moves to postpone action on the vehicle license fees ordinance during the council's meeting Monday. (Screenshot/City of Lynnwood)
Lynnwood to keep collecting a car tab fee and utility tax, for now

City Council members will consider repealing them in October when they write a new city budget.

Epic Ford on the corner of 52nd Street and Evergreen Way in Everett is closed. The dealership has been in business for more than 50 years. (Janice Podsada / The Herald)
After 50 years, Everett’s Epic Ford dealership closes shop

It opened in 1971, when gas guzzling muscle cars like the Ford Mustang still ruled the road.

Lyon Torns enters the courtroom for his sentencing Wednesday afternoon in the Snohomish County Superior Courtroom in Everett, Washington on May 25, 2022.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Everett man gets 19 years in fatal Marysville shooting

Lyon “Nick” Torns sold fentanyl to Jason Castle, 42. In November 2020, Torns shot and killed him, then fled to Las Vegas.

Ian Saltzman
School leaders in Everett, Mukilteo districts receive raises

Superintendents Ian Saltzman in Everett and Alison Brynelson in Mukilteo secured contract extensions through 2025.

Brace for Memorial Day weekend traffic and long ferry lines

Leave at non-peak hours to avoid road congestion and ferry backups. The passes will be busy, too.

Most Read