A competency hearing has been ordered for 73-year-old John Shipley of Edmonds to determine his fitness to stand trial for the alleged July 29 murder of his 66-year-old wife Susan in their Westgate-area home. The couple had been married 44 years.
Criminal complaint charges were filed in Snohomish County District Court on Aug. 2, giving the Snohomish County Prosecutor until Aug. 19 to file formal charges in Snohomish County Superior Court. But according to the prosecutor’s office, formal arraignment could be delayed pending the competency evaluation.
As previously reported, probable cause documents filed in Superior Court say that John Shipley told detectives that he has been “seeing demons,” that he believes he is “going to hell due to the way he has lived his life,” and that he or his wife would die at any time as “judgment for the life he had led.” He went on to add that he believed “today was judgment day,” and that “his judgment was to kill his wife.”
A GoFundMe page has been created to help pay Susan Shipley’s funeral costs. John Shipley remains in Snohomish County Jail in lieu of a $1 million bond.
— By Larry Vogel