A man who fatally stabbed his girlfriend before fleeing to Northern California three years ago was sentenced today to just over 35 years in prison.
Shawn Gulseth, 43, was found living under a bridge in a small town 200 miles north of San Francisco. He killed Bonnie Peterson, 45, in her Kent apartment on Dec. 20, 2010.
Originally charged with first-degree murder, Gulseth pleaded guilty last month to second-degree murder, with the charge carrying aggravators for domestic violence and Gulseth’s use of a deadly weapon, court records show.
After killing Peterson in her apartment at 25811 110th Ave. S.E., Gulseth allegedly tried to get into cars on nearby Kent Kangley Road in an apparent attempt to escape, police said at the time. Surveillance video from a bank on Kent Kangley Road showed Gulseth wearing mismatched shoes, one gray, one white and black; police found the matches for the shoes near Peterson’s body in her apartment.
When Peterson, 45, didn’t show up for work on Dec. 21, 2010, friends went to check on her and called 911 after finding her body, according to charging papers. Bloody fingerprints that were matched to Gulseth also were found in her apartment, according to the documents. Peterson was trying to end her relationship with Gulseth when she was killed.
After the California Highway Patrol received a police bulletin indicating Gulseth was wanted on a $1.5 million warrant and might be hiding out in the town of Willits, a California Highway Patrol officer located and positively identified Gulseth based on the distinctive tattoos on his body.