Kent man in Craigslist sex-murder ad enters plea in court

A 24-year-old Kent man pleaded not guilty Wednesday to a charge of conspiracy to commit second-degree murder after he reportedly placed an ad on Craigslist to meet a woman for sex and then kill her.

Shawn Tyler Skelton remained Wednesday at the county jail in Seattle in lieu of $1 million bail. He is scheduled to return to court for a case hearing on May 27. If convicted as charged, he faces a sentencing range of seven years, eight months to 13 years, nine months.

Seattle Police arrested Skelton April 27 after he knocked on the door of a room at a Seattle motel, where he earlier had agreed to meet a woman (an undercover detective) for sex and then to kill her, according to charging papers. Skelton had a length of heavy chain, a knife and two long shoelaces in his possession.

An employee at Craigslist sent an e-mail to Seattle Police April 22 about a suspicious advertisement, entitled “A Strange Desire,” posted on the Casual Encounters section of the Seattle-Tacoma online bulletin board, according to court documents.

An undercover detective responded to the ad. That started an exchange of 30-plus e-mails over the next several days, said Seattle Police spokesman Mark Jamieson. Skelton and the undercover detective then set up a time, date and location to meet.

Skelton also wrote during an exchange of e-mails that he wanted to be paid for carrying out the plan to kill the woman, according to court documents. He wrote he placed the ad to look for someone who wanted to be killed, but that he was willing to kill an unwitting participant.

Police said they decided to initiate contact with the Kent man because of several recent incidents nationwide that involved online advertising sites and to evaluate any potential threat to the community, according to a police media release.

Skelton lives in Kent with his girlfriend’s great-grandmother, according to court documents.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@kentreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kentreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

t
Man identified who died of medical emergency in Kent while driving car

King County Medical Examiner’s Office rules death of natural causes in 132nd Avenue SE crash

t
Man, 29, fatally shot on Metro bus in Kent identified

No charges filed against shooter who reportedly acted in self-defense

t
Aegis Living Kent earns Joint Commission memory care certification

Program designed to enhance the care of residents who suffer from memory-impacting conditions

t
New Puget Sound Fire engines to hit Kent streets | Photos

Kent will get four new vehicles for East Hill, city of SeaTac one

Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent. FILE PHOTO
Discarded cigarette leads to arrest of Kent double homicide suspects

DNA reveals man, woman who reportedly killed two people in January 2023 at local motel

t
State Patrol chief thanks public for support of trooper shot in Kent

Trooper’s injuries are not life threatening despite being shot multiple times

t
Boy, 17, fatally shot in Kent in exchange of gunfire identified | Update

Shooting between subjects in vehicles Feb. 20 along East Valley Highway near South 180th Street

Car damaged by bullets during Feb. 19 Interstate 5 shooting. (Courtesy of Washington State Patrol)
King County Councilmember wants more info about I-5 shootings

The letter, addressed to WSP Chief John R. Batiste, comes in wake of a Feb. 19 drive-by shooting that occurred on I-5 in Tukwila that left a victim in critical condition.

t
Kent man, 83, dies after medical emergency while driving on East Hill

Reportedly died from medical issue prior to single-car crash Feb. 2o along 132nd Avenue SE

Rep. Mia Gregerson. COURTESY PHOTO, Legislative Support Services
Gregerson state bill aims to improve immigration support

Designed to better address needs of refugees, immigrants arriving in Washington state

t
Federal Way man faces charges for shooting, injuring trooper in Kent

Trooper reportedly shot nine times Feb. 16 after a struggle following foot pursuit

Courtesy image, U.S. Department of Justice
Kent man pleads guilty to selling guns to those with criminal histories

Sold more than 100 firearms to those barred from possessing guns