Crime

Man convicted of killing woman and leaving her body in Tumwater

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A man accused of killing a woman and leaving her body near Costco in Tumwater was found guilty in Thurston County Superior Court on Wednesday.

The jury returned its verdict after two hours of deliberation. They found that Matthew J. McCollian, 34, of Everett, was guilty on all counts, including second-degree murder, felony possession of a firearm and arson.

A sentencing date hasn’t been set, Thurston County Prosecutor Jon Tunheim said Wednesday. His office is working with the victim’s family and others to determine a date when they can attend.

The victim, Sophia Stutzman, 24, of Snohomish County, was found dead in Tumwater with a gunshot wound to her chest in the early morning hours of Dec. 12, 2018.

Seven days later, charges were filed against McCollian, the result of an investigation between King, Snohomish and Thurston county law enforcement.

Murder trials typically aren’t concluded this quickly, but Tunheim said the defendant asserted his right to a speedy trial, which took place 60 days after arraignment.

Tunheim said he believes the victim was shot in a vehicle while headed south on Interstate 5 in Thurston County. Later, the defendant made the decision to dispose of the body in Tumwater and burn the rental car in Bothell, he said.

Tunheim believes the defendant was trying to cover up blood evidence in the car.

The victim does not have ties to Tumwater.

The Olympian, citing court documents, reported that McCollian was Stutzman’s boyfriend and the last person she was with before she died.

Stutzman’s mother told police she dropped Stutzman off at McCollian’s apartment in Everett Dec. 11 and that Stutzman later texted her “he is so out of his mind.”

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