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The Times' criminal justice team looks behind the scenes and behind the headlines.

May 9, 2011 at 2:20 PM

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Everett man, 73, pleads to 2 Seattle cold-case homicides

Posted by Jennifer Sullivan



SEATTLE TIMES FILE PHOTO

Samuel Evans during his arraignment in March 2010 in King County Superior Court.

A 73-year-old sex-offender accused of two of Seattle's oldest cold-case homicides will likely spend the rest of his life in prison as the result of two pleas on Monday

Samuel Evans, of Everett, entered two Alford pleas to reduced charges of manslaughter in connection with the two slayings. In an Alford plea a defendant does not admit guilt but acknowledges that there is likely enough evidence for a jury to convict in the event of a trial. It is considered a conviction.

Evans was tied to the June 1968 homicide of James Keuler through DNA from blood, on cigarette butts and other evidence collected from the crime scene, prosecutors said. It's unclear why Evans was inside Keuler's Madrona apartment or how the men knew each other.

With Evans entering a plea in the 43-year-old slaying, Seattle police and prosecutors have solved one of Seattle's oldest cold cases.

Evans also entered an Alford plea in the slaying of Jackson Schley on Jan. 9, 1972.

Prosecutors say Evans confronted Jackson and his wife, Daisy Schley, when the couple returned to their Central Area home. They say Evans ordered the couple to their knees and Jackson Schley, a 58-year-old retired shoe repairman, was fatally shot.

Evans forced Daisy Schley into his car and drove her to a wooded area, where he raped her, prosecutors said. He then drove her to another area, struck her on the head and left her for dead. A man living nearby found her after hearing her scream, charging papers said.

Investigators matched DNA from Evans with DNA found on Daisy Schley's clothing. She survived the attack but died in 2007. Prosecutors could not charge Evans for the rape because of statute-of-limitations restrictions; there is no statute of limitations for murder.

In 1987, Evans pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of attempted sexual assault with use of a deadly weapon on a victim over the age of 65 in Las Vegas. Evans had tied up a 66-year-old woman, sexually assaulted her and stole $80 in cash, credit cards and her 1977 Oldsmobile.

He eventually was arrested in Denver, where he was behind bars for another crime, according to a pre-sentence report filed by authorities in Las Vegas.

Evans also has convictions for robbery in 1959, forgery in 1972 and manslaughter in 1976, according to papers filed in King County Superior Court.

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