A jury found a 31-year-old Thurston County man guilty of murdering his elderly parents in 2021.
Josiah Sweeney, 31, has been convicted on two counts of first-degree aggravated murder, first-degree burglary with a deadly weapon and assault in violations of a protection order, according to Superior Court records.
The jury delivered their verdict last month at the conclusion of a three-week trial. Deputies arrested Sweeney on Oct. 31, 2021, after finding his parents, Patricia and Michael Sweeney, stabbed to death in their home near Maytown in south Thurston County.
Prosecuting Attorney Jon Tunheim announced the convictions on Tuesday. In a statement, he commended the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office for their investigation and the jury for their service. He also addressed those close to the couple.
“I hope the verdict will bring some closure to the family and friends of the couple, knowing that the defendant will be held accountable for these horrific crimes,” Tunheim said.
The sheriff’s office also shared a news release about the convictions. Like Tunheim, they thanked the jury and said they hoped this conviction would bring about closure.
“We are grateful for the diligent efforts of our personnel who worked alongside Thurston County Prosecutor, Jon Tunheim and his staff to ensure that this case was investigated thoroughly and prosecuted effectively,” the statement reads.
Darren Sweeney, Michael Sweeney’s son from a previous marriage, asked deputies to check on the couple after a pastor noticed their absence during a Sunday morning service, The Olympian previously reported.
Deputies checked the address at the 13200 block of Taylor Street Southwest and learned Michael Sweeney had a protection order against his son, Josiah Sweeney.
They observed no signs of forced entry at the home, but they did see an unresponsive person lying face down in a bed.
After forcing their way into the home, deputies found the couple had been killed by multiple stab wounds. Josiah Sweeney was found sleeping in another bedroom and a car registered to him was parked outside.
Court records indicate Sweeney told deputies he did not know of his parent’s condition. When he was informed they had died from stab wounds, he reportedly replied, “Oh.”
Deputies later found two large kitchen knives in the kitchen sink. According to the records, the knives were covered in blood and hair.
“It appeared that after placing the knives in the sink, Josiah had at least one meal and placed the dishes in the sink on top of the bloody knives,” the court records read.
After a forensic analysis, investigators determined the couple’s blood was on the knives as well as the defendant’s fingerprints, according to the PAO.
Neighbors told investigators they saw Josiah Sweeney at the home multiple times, per court records. They believed he was violating his father’s protection order.
Deputies arrested Josiah Sweeney and he has remained in custody since that day, according to the sheriff’s office.
Court records indicate Sweeney may be sentenced as soon late February or early March.