Four more arrested in Olympia homicide, including new murder charge

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Four more people were arrested in connection with the homicide of a 31-year-old Olympia man whose body was found on Sept. 15.

Today, a Thurston County Superior Court judge found probable cause to charge Joseph Laursen with second-degree murder. He’s being held in the Thurston County Jail on $750,000 bail. Additionally, the judge found probable cause to charge Billyjo Richardson, 55, Helen Richardson, 30, and Ashleigh Butsch, 32, each with first-degree rendering criminal assistance. Each is being held on $50,000 bail.

According to court documents, police found the body of Shaun Moore on Sept. 15 near Plum and Union streets. They found six individuals in Moore’s last known address — an Olympia apartment. During interviews with police, each of the six people said Moore had been held against his will in the apartment since May, and was regularly assaulted during that time.

Kyle Jarstad and Jonathan M. Carroway were previously arrested and charged with second-degree murder for allegedly assaulting Moore. Both are held on $1 million bail. Laursen is also accused of physically assaulting Moore during this stretch of time. He was arrested on suspicion of second-degree murder on Tuesday.

According to court documents, the three other suspects arrested were all present when Moore was held against his will in the Olympia apartment. According to court documents, various suspects said Moore’s body was held in the apartment for about two weeks before it was illegally disposed of. They allegedly said they never attempted to contact the police or help Moore. Additionally, they allegedly helped dispose of the body and develop a false story in case anyone asked about Moore’s whereabouts.

During hearings in Thurston County Superior Court today, Judge Christopher Lanese ordered Laursen be held on $750,000 bail — a lesser amount than the other murder suspects in the case. Lanese noted that Laursen doesn’t have a criminal history, and that the allegations against him weren’t as severe as the other two murder suspects.

Each of the suspects accused of rendering assistance were placed on $50,000 bail, in tune with requests from Deputy Prosecutor Scott Jackson. Public Defender Danielle Walker requested that each of the three suspects be released on their personal recognizance saying they didn’t appear to pose a threat to the public. Walker argued that police had interviewed each suspect on Dec. 17, but didn’t arrest them until Tuesday, Dec. 29. If they posed a threat to the community, Walker argued, police could have arrested them long ago.

The four have arraignment hearings scheduled for 9 a.m. on Jan. 12.

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