EVERETT, Wash. -- John Reed was sentenced to life in prison without parole Friday for killing a Snohomish County couple over a property dispute in 2016.
A jury convicted Reed in May of killing his former neighbors -- Patrick Shunn and his wife, Monique Patenaude -- and then hiding their bodies and vehicles near their Oso home before fleeing to Mexico. It was a crime that rocked the tight-knit community around Oso in Snohomish County.
Family members addressed the court during the sentencing Friday.
“Any individual in their right mind would not have committed such a heinous execution, premeditated murder of the loveliest people you’d want to know,” said Patrick Shunn, the uncle of the victim with the same name.
Patenaude's sister, Victoria Lindberg, said her brother-in-law and sister did not deserve this fate.
“These kind-hearted, beautiful, life-loving people were brutally murdered by a person they showed care for," she said.
The judge in the case said Reed seemed calculated and only focused on getting away with the killings.
“Absolutely no remorse; your claim was self-defense, it was clear on the basis of your testimon,y at certain points it almost appeared to be a game," said Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Bruce Weiss.
It was a game, Weiss said, that Reed may have gotten away with, if he didn’t leave certain evidence behind while trying to dispose of the bodies.
“There's no reason for these two young people to lose their lives under these circumstances. They had a long life to live and it was cut short," said Weiss.
Reed testified during his trial and told the jury he had to kill Monique and Patrick in order to save his own life in self-defense.
Prosecutors told the jury that tactic was merely a strategy to deflect his responsibility from the killings.
This all began after Reed took a federal buyout after his property was damaged during the Oso landslide. In April 2016, prosecutors claim, Reed first executed Patenaude and then laid in wait before doing the same to her husband Shunn.
Then, according to prosecutors, Reed tried to destroy evidence, buried his victim’s bodies and fled to Mexico with his brother, Tony.
John’s brother, Tony Reed, pleaded guilty earlier to helping him escape, and admitted to helping John hide the couple’s bodies in the mountains.