A 31-year-old man was convicted of the murder of his elderly parents in October 2021.
A Thurston County jury found Josiah Sweeney guilty of two counts of first-degree aggravated murder, one count of first-degree burglary with a deadly weapon, and assault in violation of a no-contact order in connection with the killing of his parents, Patricia and Michael Sweeney.
The Thurston County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office said the jury deliberated for over two hours following a three-week trial.
On October 31 last year, Patricia and Michael’s pastor reached out to Michael’s other son from a previous marriage after the couple did not attend a service, which was considered highly unusual for them.
Michael’s other son then asked the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office to conduct a welfare check on the couple.
“When Deputies arrived, they did not get an answer at the door but could see through the window that someone was down and not responding,” the Sheriff’s Office said in a news release. “Deputies forced entry into the home and found a man and woman in their 70s had been killed.”
The couple’s son, Josiah, was found asleep in another bedroom inside the house. Deputies also found two large knives in the kitchen sink and a vehicle registered to Josiah in the parking lot.
Deputies arrested Josiah for the murder of his parents on the same day, and he has been in custody since.
Later forensic analysis revealed the couple’s blood and Josiah’s fingerprints on the knives. Deputies also learned that Michael had a protection order against Josiah.
Following the conviction, Thurston County Prosecuting Attorney Jon Tunheim lauded the Sheriff’s Office for its investigative work and thanked the jury.
“I hope the verdict will bring some closure to the family and friends of the couple, knowing that the defendant will be held accountable for these horrific crimes,” Tunheim said.
The Sheriff’s Office also said it was “hopeful that this conviction will bring some closure to the family and friends of Michael and Patricia.”