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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Man Guilty Of Killing 3 Women Trio Was Shot In Courthouse While Awaiting Divorce Hearing

Associated Press

Timothy Blackwell was convicted Wednesday of killing his wife, two of her friends and his wife’s unborn child in a courthouse hallway last year.

A Snohomish County Superior Court jury deliberated about four hours Wednesday before reaching its verdict.

It convicted Blackwell, 48, of three counts of aggravated first-degree murder in the killings of Susana Remerata Blackwell, 25, who was pregnant; Phoebe Dizon, 46; and Veronica Laureta Johnson, 42, all immigrants from the Philippines. He also was convicted of first-degree manslaughter in the death of the fetus.

Blackwell remained silent as the verdicts were read.

Prosecutors said earlier they would seek the death penalty if he were convicted.

The women were gunned down as they were sitting on a bench in the King County Courthouse on March 2, 1995, waiting for a hearing to resume in the Blackwells’ divorce case.

The murder trial was moved to Snohomish County after a judge ruled it would be improper to try Blackwell at the scene of the crime.

In closing arguments Tuesday, Deputy King County Prosecutor Lisa Marchese told jurors that Blackwell had committed a “planned, purposeful, public execution” and was well aware of what he was doing when he calmly fired 11 shots at the three women.

But Blackwell’s lawyer, Gary Nacht, said the prosecution was speculating and offering only a theory of why Blackwell had done what he did.

“Folks, this is a case that involves a smoking gun, and I tell you there is a lack of evidence,” Nacht said in his closing arguments.

Blackwell and his wife were in the midst of a bitter divorce. Blackwell had learned the day before the shootings that his wife was pregnant by another man.

Blackwell, who met his wife through a Bellingham-based pen-pal service, had come to believe that she had married him only to get to come to the United States.