Authorities in Everett, Washington say 59-year-old Carl Bustard killed Deborah Jeanneret, 50, and then hid her body under her bedroom mattress. Bustard, meanwhile, claims he was on a family trip in the Midwest and says he has witnesses to back it up. And, oh yeah, the rubber gloves and bleach police allegedly found in the back of his truck wasn’t to clean up the woman’s blood, he reportedly says it was to clean his boat.
Washington’s KIRO 7 reports Bustard and Jeanneret got into a fight after he brought pills into the home she shared with his on-again off-again girlfriend Tammie Lewis. Lewis, 54, and Bustard had a rocky relationship, which included multiple no-contact orders against him, all of which were dismissed after she failed to show up for court, according to The Everett Washington Herald. Lewis had been staying with Jeanneret and a male roomate, who owned the home. Neither reportedly liked Bustard.
Lewis allegedly told investigators that following a confrontation last Friday, where Jeanneret struck Bustard in the head, Bustard attacked Jeanneret from behind as she sat on a couch, stabbing her repeatedly with a knife. Lewis claimed she feared for her life if she didn’t help Bustard clean up the crime scene. After mopping up the blood and hiding Jeanneret’s dead body beneath her bedroom mattress, Lewis allegedly drove Jeanneret’s BMW to nearby Marysville, where she abandoned it. She also took Jeanneret’s cellphone, and allegedly began texting the dead woman’s family and friends, posing as Jeanneret and claiming she had gone to Reno, Nevada for the weekend.
Over the weekend, Jeanneret’s other roommate had begun to receive strange text messages from her cellphone, alluding to the fight with Bustard. He also began to notice a pungent odor emitting from her bedroom. By Tuesday the stench had grown so strong he searched the room and discovered her body. The roommate called 911 and police tracked Bustard and Lewis to Marysville, where they arrested them. The cops may have been just in time as reports claim the day of the arrest, Bustard had allegedly bought an enhanced driver's license which would enable easy travel to Canada and Mexico.
At his bail hearing Wednesday on first-degree murder charges, Bustard’s defense attorney said “My client was not anywhere near the scene where the homicide allegedly took place.” Bustard told police Lewis was “a pathological liar,” according to court papers, and that she suffers from mental illness. The judge wasn’t buying it and set his bail at $5 million. Lewis, who is facing charges of first-degree rendering criminal assistance, was ordered held on $250,000 bail. In an interview with KOMO News, the victim’s son, Chris Jeanneret, said “"She didn't deserve it and (I'm) just trying to understand why someone wanted to take her life."
Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxgen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for our Crime Time Newsletter and subscribe to our true crime podcast Martinis & Murder for all the best true crime content.