Clinton woman goes on trial for murder Tuesday

Clinton resident Linda Thomas paid for her own obituary, packed a gun and zip ties, traveled to California and allegedly shot her sister to death two years ago, according to a police report.

Thomas, 74, is going to trial on murder and other charges in Contra Costa County Tuesday. Whidbey Island residents may be flown down to testify, according to the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office.

Police reports indicate that the motive for the murder was related to a longtime family dispute over an inheritance. Police believe Linda Thomas planned to kill herself after killing her sister, 69-year-old Zonna Thomas of Rodeo, Calif.

Linda Thomas had prepared for the crime, police reports indicate. She wrote and paid for her own obituary to run in the South Whidbey Record. She brought a .38-caliber handgun, bullets, duct tape and zip ties on her trip. When she was arrested she was wearing a laminated copy of her driver’s license and carrying a document describing her wishes for her funeral arrangements.

Zonna Thomas was shot in the head shortly after midnight Oct. 17. Her husband rushed into the room and saw his wife facedown on the floor in a pool of blood and Linda Thomas raising the handgun in his direction. He wrestled the gun from her hands and held her until police arrived, the police report states.

Linda Thomas was a community volunteer and helped the elderly at Brookhaven in Langley. Neighbors in her Possession Shores neighborhood described her as pleasant and active in the community.

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