Crime

Thurston County man found guilty on all counts in 2017 murder trial

Christopher M. Heeren, 34, (left) was found guilty on all counts, including first-degree murder, in Thurston County Superior Court, a deputy prosecutor said Wednesday. Here he is shown during a preliminary appearance in fall 2017.
Christopher M. Heeren, 34, (left) was found guilty on all counts, including first-degree murder, in Thurston County Superior Court, a deputy prosecutor said Wednesday. Here he is shown during a preliminary appearance in fall 2017. The Olympian

A 34-year-old Thurston County man was found guilty on all 10 counts against him, including first-degree murder, at the conclusion of a trial that wrapped up last week, a deputy prosecutor said Wednesday.

The victim was Shaddie Graham of Spanaway, whose body was found in Guerin County Park at Black Lake on Sept. 29, 2017.

After a six-week trial, a jury found Christopher M. Heeren guilty of the following: first-degree murder, first-degree robbery, first-degree burglary, two counts of first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm, first-degree trafficking in stolen property, conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance (methamphetamine), two counts of theft of a firearm, and possessing a stolen firearm.

Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Scott Jackson said the case went to the jury May 22. It deliberated the following morning and returned a verdict before noon Thursday.

“I’m happy with the verdict,” he said. “The jury paid attention and understood the case, and rendered what I believe was the correct verdict.”

A sentencing date has yet to be set, he said.

The Olympian reported that Heeren was arrested in connection with the death of Graham, whose was found shot in the neck about 4 p.m. Sept. 29, 2017, at the Black Lake park, according to court documents.

Heeren lived near the park, and a witness reported seeing the duo in the woods. Detectives concluded that Heeren shot Graham with a gun stolen from Heeren’s stepbrother’s roommate.

At least two guns had been stolen from a utility building, but there were no signs of forced entry.

Heeren had a key, the roommate reported. The guns were a .357-caliber handgun, and a .380-caliber Glock-style handgun.

The roommate was able to provide detectives with a fired shell casing from one of the guns, and the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab was able to match that to the bullet found in Graham’s body.

Multiple witnesses reported seeing Heeren with a gun, according to court documents.

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