Two men will spend at least 25 years in prison for killing a 63-year-old homeowner last July near Colville.
Jesse J. Fellman-Shimmin, 27, pleaded guilty Wednesday to second-degree murder, and Eric L. Booth, 26, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in connection with the killing of 63-year-old Gordon Feist during a botched robbery attempt, Stevens County Prosecutor Tim Rasmussen said.
Superior Court Judge Pat Monasmith sentenced Fellman-Shimmin to 300 months, or 25 years, and Booth to 320 months, or just over 26 1/2 years, for their parts in the killing. Collette M. Pierce is also charged in the killing, but the resolution of her case was postponed because her attorney was out of town, Rasmussen said.
“Mr. Booth expressed profound remorse verbally and emotionally,” Rasmussen said. “Jesse Fellman-Shimmin … apologized without emotion.”
Both men planned to rob Feist of guns and money on July 17, but Booth told authorities that he panicked and shot Feist twice in the head.
Detectives believe Booth, who previously did maintenance work at Feist’s home, obtained the murder weapon when he helped another man, Christopher George Nicols, 26, burglarize a separate home.
According to court documents, Booth and Fellman-Shimmin both carried guns when they approached Feist’s home on Smart Way, just south of Colville, with the intent of robbing him. They agreed that Pierce would tell Feist that they were out of gas as a ruse. But Booth shot Feist as he was giving the suspects a ride in his utility vehicle to get gas. After the shooting, the vehicle crashed into a pole, injuring Booth on the forehead. That injury eventually led to his arrest.
Booth told detectives the trio ran from the scene and then drove to Rocky Lake where they burned their blood-soaked clothing. Booth later led detectives to that location.
The investigation got its break when a Washington Department of Corrections officer went to check on Booth’s brother but noticed Booth’s head wound when he answered the door. The probation officer, Travis Hurst, then alerted Stevens County sheriff’s deputies, who arrested Booth.