South Everett man suspected of killing Snohomish woman

By Nicholas Johnson | Mar 15, 2017

A South Everett man is suspected of killing a 78-year-old Snohomish woman and assaulting her daughter, a 62 year-old woman also from Snohomish, on Sunday, Feb. 19, at the victim’s residence in Snohomish.

John Dimitri Kuljis Jr., 31, was arrested at about 4:50 p.m. on the same day at his home in the Pinehurst neighborhood of South Everett in the 1500 block of 74th Avenue Southeast.

Kuljis was booked into the Snohomish County Jail on suspicion of first-degree murder and first-degree assault, and held on $1.5 million bond.

Kuljis, who remains in custody, appeared in Snohomish County Superior Court on Monday, March 13, to be arraigned on charges of second-degree murder and first-degree assault with a weapon. His bail was set at $1.5 million.

The Kuljis’ uncle, 46-year-old Scotty C. Guthrie, witnessed the murder and assault. Guthrie was taken into custody and booked on outstanding warrants.

Guthrie had been hired to do construction work on a bathroom at the victims’ residence. Guthrie brought his nephew to assist him. Both victims were at the house while the work was being done.

According to court documents, Kuljis attacked both women with a carpet knife before fleeing the residence with his uncle. The older victim, Barbara A. Decker, died from her injuries. The younger victim, Janine M. Shaffer, was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.

In calling 911 at about 2:42 p.m., Shaffer reported that both she and her mother’s throats had been cut.

Guthrie told detectives he and Kuljis fled the victims’ residence and that Kuljis threw a knife out of the vehicle as they were driving. Guthrie dropped Kuljis off at his home, where detectives located him and arrested him.

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