Man charged with murder of elderly relatives in Thurston County held without bail
By Emily Fitzgerald / For Nisqually Valley News
Thurston County MPs are investigating the death of an elderly husband and wife at their Maytown-area home on Sunday evening as a double homicide.
The two were found by MPs who responded to a residence in block 13200 of Maytown Road Southwest at 5 p.m. on October 31 at the request of a family member, who feared they could not reach the couple and has asked the deputies to carry out a welfare check.
When MPs arrived they saw through the window that “someone was down and not responding,” according to a press release from the Thurston County Sheriff‘s Office.
The deputies forced entry into the house and found a man and a woman, both aged 70, “who had been killed,” according to the press release. The Olympian reported that the couple were stabbed to death.
A suspect, the couple’s 30-year-old son Josiah Paul Sweeney, has been arrested after MPs found him inside the residence in violation of a no-contact order.
Sweeney was incarcerated in Thurston County Jail and was charged with two counts of first degree murder with a lethal weapon, domestic violence; first-degree burglary with a lethal weapon, domestic violence; and assault in violation of a no-contact order, domestic violence.
Because two of the charges are death penalty offenses – and because Sweeney was previously convicted of fourth degree domestic violence for assaulting his mother – Assistant District Attorney Cailen Cecil Wevodau asked the judge to allow Sweeney to be detained without bail for the duration of his trial.
Wevodau also requested a no-contact order for surviving members of Sweeney’s family.
One of those family members, the victims’ son and Sweeney’s brother, told Thurston County Superior Court that he believed it would not be sure that Sweeney was out of custody due to persistent mental health problems caused by traumatic brain injury.
“My brother needs help,” he told the court during Sweeney’s pre-trial appearance on November 1.
While Wevodau said the brother wished to have telephone contact with Sweeney “to get answers”, Wevodau has always asked Sweeney to be denied contact with his family.
Sweeney’s defense attorney Ahmed Jenkins objected to the no-contact order because he said there was no information in the probable cause affidavit that there was had witnesses to the alleged crime.
Jenkins also asked Sweeney for the option to post a $ 100,000 bond.
The judge granted Wevodau’s request for a detention without bond and the request for a no-contact order.
Based on the assault allegations and conviction in Sweeney’s story, the judge said “there is a danger that the accused will commit a violent crime.”
And although probable cause did not indicate any witnesses, the judge said he believed “they have information that they need to be placed in a position where they are not contacted.”
Sweeney’s next court appearance is an arraignment hearing scheduled for November 16.
The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office continues to investigate the matter. Anyone with information relating to the incident is encouraged to send an email to [email protected]
The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office said it would release additional information as soon as it became available.