Murder suspect nabbed in California
Jeremy Staeheli confessed to shooting Snohomish man
SNOHOMISH — Bail is set at $2 million for the suspect accused of killing Brandt Stewart, 34, who was found dead just before Christmas.
Jeremy Tod Staeheli of Lynnwood was charged with murder in the second degree, for the shooting that occurred off a logging road about 12 miles from Stevens Pass.
Stewart’s mom, Elizabeth Carmichael, told investigators she rarely saw her son. He struggled with drug addiction for most of his adult life, and was recently staying in a shed at the Snohomish Church of Nazarene. Stewart leaves behind a 4-year-old daughter.
Staeheli confessed to shooting Stewart in the forehead with a 9 millimeter handgun, court documents say. A backpack his mother recently bought for him was taken, as was his wallet. Stewart had a vial in his chest pocket that appeared to contain several grams of methamphetamine. A glass pipe and a small torch-type lighter were found in the snow, near his body, court documents say.
Staeheli has a record of misdemeanor crimes.
Pending in Snohomish County are two assault charges. He is not permitted to have a gun, which factored into the bail amount, as did his flight from Washington to Red Bluff, California.
Detectives were led to Staeheli with information from his Snohomish associates. Stewart was seen the morning of Dec. 22, getting into a red Ford Mustang with Staeheli in the driver’s seat. Surveillance video showed a license plate number connecting the vehicle to Staeheli. One week prior, the red Mustang was seen near the shed, where Stewart was staying.
Staeheli told detectives he knew Stewart and would sometimes bring him food. The two also smoked meth together. On or around Dec. 23, they were driving around, court documents say, and stopped on the logging road. Both got out of the vehicle to relieve themselves. Staheli said he turned to see a knife in Stewart’s hand and shot in self defense, court documents state.
Stewart was found with both hands in his pockets. He had a pocket knife in one of those pockets.
A single spent shell casing for a 9 millimeter handgun was found near the body. Detectives say the same gun was with Staeheli when he was arrested in Red Bluff, California, tucked into his waist band. He was arrested without incident in Red Bluff, two feet from the red Mustang. He confessed to shooting Stewart, sharing details only the shooter would know such as where the bullet hit, court documents say.
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