MARCH 10, 1997
'Not-guilty' pleas entered in Bothell murder case
by Jeff Switzer, senior staff reporter
Following their extradition from Arizona, the two people charged with the murder of a Bothell resident pleaded not guilty to the crime Friday and are being held in the Snohomish County Jail without bail.
Marty J. Malone, a.k.a. Mary J. Malone, 43, of Scottsdale, Arizona, and Jonathan Craig Curtis, 45, of Phoenix, Arizona, arrived in Washington on Wednesday. They face first-degree aggravated murder charges for the stabbing death of Steven J. Ver Woert, who was found in his mobile home at the Lake Pleasant RV Park on Feb. 5.
If convicted, the two could face life imprisonment without parole or the death penalty. Prosecutors must make the decision within 30 days on which penalty to seek.
Malone and Curtis are scheduled to appear in court next on April 11. They have each obtained their own legal council: Jett Whitmer representing Curtis, Susan Gaer representing Malone.
Based on information allegedly told by Malone to Bothell Detective Ed Hopkins, Bothell Police sent two officers to the Vantage, Washington landfill, where they sifted through 75 tons of garbage in zero-degree windchill weather at 3,000 feet before they found blood-stained clothes believed worn by the victim at the time of the murder. Malone had said she and Curtis had dumped the clothes in Ellensburg.
"We did find some clothes, but whether they related to this case is inconclusive until laboratory tests are done," said Capt. Bob Woolverton, who noted the State Patrol's Crime lab is "understaffed and overworked" and the process could take some time. Woolverton added that the search for the clothes was "grotesque work."
Investigation costs continue to build
The first week alone, the murder investigation racked up $20,000 on overtime and travel expenses for 13 officers and detectives on the investigation team, which is now down to 11 personnel. Woolverton says those costs, added to retrieving the evidence and storing the suspect's vehicle, have "put a major dent in our budget."
The police department's overtime budget is $25,000 for the year, and given the deficit, items from the discretionary budget will be the first things dropped from the budget.
"There will definitely have to be some adjustments made on discretionary items. Generally first thing to go is training," Woolverton said. "Then down the list from there. This will have a major impact on what we continue to do." He said the department's past training has helped prepare Bothell officers for this case, "but it will take long time to catch up to the training we've lost."
Other discretionary items which may fall off in priority this year include repairing damaged vehicles such as dents or other damage, ammunition for firearm proficiency training, small tools, and minor office equipment. Until the final cost of the case comes in, Woolverton says the effects are still just "speculations."
The Bothell Police department has 62 regular employees, including 39 officers.