A man who had his girlfriend try to kill his 75-year-old business partner first offered two other people money for the crime, according to charges.
Esmeralda Martin, 23, fired eight shots at Edward Davidson, 75, at his house near Everson on Wednesday June 24, according to charging papers filed in Whatcom County Superior Court. She was acting on the instructions of her boyfriend, Sean Head, who is the heir to Davidson’s million-dollar estate and business partner, according to charges.
Head, 26, is charged with two counts of solicitation to commit murder in the first degree and attempted murder in the first degree. Martin is charged with attempted murder in the first degree.
Martin apparently was the third person asked to kill Davidson. A man named William “Bo” Evinger told detectives that Head offered him $15,000 to kill Davidson with a Kel-Tec 9mm handgun that Head provided, charges say. The plan was for Martin to drive Evinger to the house and slip through the gate before shooting Davidson.
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Martin told detectives Evinger actually entered the house, located at 7400 Oat Coles Road, sometime in November 2014 before deciding not to go through with it, charges say; Evinger told detectives he rejected the offer after thinking about it for a few weeks.
The second person Head solicited for the murder was Marissa Martinez, a former employee of Davidson’s and the caretaker for his aunt, according to charges. She lived at the house on Oat Coles Road.
Martinez apparently had a heated argument with Davidson at some point in January or February, at which point Head approached her and offered her $15,000 up front and $35,000 once Davidson was dead, charges say. He wanted her to shoot Davidson and leave the body in the house where nobody would find it for a few days. Martinez told a detective she didn’t think he was serious at first, yet they communicated for a month about the plan, charges say. She has since moved to Texas.
On June 24, Martin asked to use Davidson’s bathroom. She came out and immediately shot him with a 9mm handgun and hit him in the chest, according to charges. Martin chased him and continued to shoot as Davidson ran outside, then around the house, then back inside before he locked Martin out and called 911.
Martin left the house. Davidson had gunshot wounds to his armpit and chest when paramedics arrived, but he survived.
Deputies caught Martin in Lynden less than two hours later, and when they told her Davidson survived she admitted to shooting him, charges say.
Martin told deputies she volunteered to kill Davidson after others turned down her boyfriend’s offers. They developed the plan the day before the shooting, charges say, and she watched him load a 9mm handgun while wearing black latex gloves. He also gave her earplugs, gray sweatpants to wear and a black sweatshirt so the gunpowder stayed off her skin. She was to go to Davidson’s house while Head was in yoga class.
However, she told detectives that she panicked after the shooting and called Head with her cellphone, not the disposable phone he had told her to use, charges say. She found Head at his yoga class, and he told her to flee to Seattle. But Martin, who divorced the father of her toddler in January, had to return her ex-husband’s car to Lynden because she used it to drive to the Oat Coles house. That was when officers found her.
The reason Head wanted Davidson dead, according to Martin, was because Davidson was a bad person and had sexual relationships with younger men, charges say. She didn’t mention money or the estate as a motive.
Davidson formerly owned Wardner’s Castle in Fairhaven and operated it as a bed and breakfast until 2005. He and Head operated a rental company together called Ahead Vacation Rentals.
Head admitted he was the sole beneficiary of Davidson’s estimated $1 million or $2 million estate, charges say. He denied involvement in the attempted killing.
Reach Wilson Criscione at 360-756-2803 or firstname.lastname@example.org.