An 85-year-old Federal Way woman who was charged with pre-meditated murder and assault for shooting her two roommates, killing one of them, in December pleaded not guilty on Tuesday morning.
Beverly Lorraine Jenne ambled into the Kent Regional Justice Center courtroom for her arraignment, relying on her walker and her two attorneys for stability.
Jenne was charged on Dec. 23 with pre-meditated murder in the first degree with a firearm for fatally shooting 37-year-old Janet Enid Akiniyi Oyuga on Dec. 19. She was also charged with domestic violence assault in the first degree with a firearm for shooting Oyuga’s sister, 44-year-old Angela A. Atieno.
Just 11 days after the murder, the Federal Way home where the dispute took place was destroyed by fire.
After the arraignment on Tuesday, Jenne’s attorneys provided a statement to media regarding Jenne, which expresses condolences to the victim’s family.
“We are deeply concerned that the home was so quickly destroyed by fire. We urge a swift and transparent investigation into the cause of this blaze,” according to the statement, written by attorneys Mark Middaugh and Ramona Brandes of the Northwest Defenders Division of the King County Department of Public Defense. “It is important to remember that a short charging document put together by the police and the prosecution is not the whole story,” it reads. “We look forward to sharing Ms. Jenne’s story at the appropriate time and place.”
Jenne’s attorneys did not wish to address a bail amount.
The fatal domestic dispute occurred around 12:45 a.m. on Dec. 19, when Federal Way police responded to the 2000 block of SW 306th Lane.
According to charging documents, the homeowner purchased the house at an auction in November 2019 after it went into foreclosure. Tenants Oyuga and Atieno allowed Jenne, who had owned the home since 1979, to remain living there so she wouldn’t become homeless while looking for other accommodations.
According to the charging documents, Jenne “harbored significant animosity” towards Oyuga that culminated in shooting her multiple times and killing her. After allegedly killing Oyuga, Jenne then shot Atieno in the back as Atieno was walking up the stairs to her bedroom after getting home from work.
Police found a handgun on the bed where Jenne had been sitting.
Oyuga died at the scene, found lying on the floor between the rec room and the garage door with multiple gunshot wounds to her back, chest and arms.
A suicide note, signed by Jenne and dated Dec. 18, was found under the front seat of Jenne’s 1977 Chevrolet Malibu sedan.
The note, according to the documents, stated that Oyuga “drove me to this.”
The home where the dispute took place was destroyed by fire the morning of Dec. 30. Fire investigators say the fire started in the kitchen, but were unable to determine a cause.