News

Second person arrested in Douglas murder

COUPEVILLE — A second person has been charged in the 2003 killing of Russel Douglas, the Island County Prosecutor's Office announced Monday.

Prosecutor Greg Banks said Peggy Thomas, 45, was charged as an accomplice and an arrest warrant with bail at $5 million was set.

Officials said Thomas, a former Langley resident, was arrested Saturday, July 9 by the San Juan County, New Mexico fugitive task force.

Thomas, a former Ms. Washington, was arrested in Navajo Dam, N.M. Police said she has been a "person of interest" in the case since Huden was named as the prime suspect in the murder.

Island County officials said they did not have details on the arrest of Thomas, which came after a five-day search. Officials said it could be several weeks before she returns to Washington to face charges.

"This is a very important case to us, and to the people of Island County," Banks said in a statement to the press.  "The premeditated killing of another human being is a wicked act in any community.  It is especially shocking in a community such as ours where murders are extremely rare."

"I am gratified that these much delayed proceedings are now underway, and that Russel Douglas and his family may now get the justice they deserve," he added. "I look forward to presenting our case to a jury."

The prosecutor's office said Thomas could face a prison sentence between 25 to 29 years if convicted.

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