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Suspect in fatal Lake Stevens stabbing has extensive criminal history

Snohomish County police have arrested Anthony Garver, who they say stabbed a woman to death in her home in Lake Stevens about three weeks ago. (Snohomish County Sheriff's Office)

Snohomish County police have arrested the man they say stabbed a woman to death in her home in Lake Stevens about three weeks ago.

Police were called to the house June 17 on a report of a woman found stabbed and tied to the corners of the bed with various electrical cords, according to Snohomish County Deputy Prosecutor Matt Hunter.

“She was stabbed 24 times and her throat was slit.”

The victim: Philipa Evans-Lopez, age 20. And the break in the case came when detectives found a McDonald’s receipt in her purse in a car parked outside the house. They went over security video from the McDonald’s at the time stamped on the receipt, and there he was, a young white man at the counter with the woman. The two were clearly together.

Police also found some DNA on the electrical cords, and got an immediate hit from the DNA database: Anthony E. Garver, age 25, who turns out to be all over Google because he’s been in trouble before.

Police finally tracked him down in Everett. They found him Tuesday at a fast food restaurant, and he had the same camouflage backpack he was wearing in the McDonald’s security video. Police also found a folding knife in his pants pocket.

When the cops interviewed him, he denied everything – he didn’t know the woman, never been to the house. And then the detective noticed that he had a folding knife, and that the folding knife had blood on it. When he was asked about that, according to the report, Garver smiled, denied it again, and said that was all he was going to say.

Garver was booked for first degree murder, and yesterday appeared before a judge in Snohomish County. And he immediately started interrupting his attorney.

“As a legal professional, I can’t let him make any statements…He has the right to remain silent.”

And then he swore at the judge.

“This is impartial bull@#$%.”

His attorney said he even denied his own identity.

“He would dispute his identity that’s contained in the probable cause affidavit.”

The victim’s mother, Kris Evans, spoke to Q13 and said Wednesday night that she doesn’t understand why he would have targeted her daughter.

“I don’t know if they met there or if he just started talking to her. I don’t know if she offered him a ride.”

She can’t understand the brutality, and in the end, she says her daughter may have been a victim of her trusting nature:

“Trusting, too trusting. She took people for who they were. She didn’t judge them.”

Police say Garver has a history of mental illness, has made threats against the government and has expressed interest in creating explosive devices, and has threatening “mass casualties involving large events” according to probable cause documents.

KXLY reporter Annie Bishop has been following this story of bizarre and dangerous behavior.

“Deputies found references to Al-Qaeda on the computer they seized from him during this criminal investigation. We have been following his story since 2006 when he was arrested for threatening to blow up a federal building, also threatening to kill a federal judge and prosecutor in his case. He was given a three year prison term for that crime only to be released in 2009. He was released on supervised parole. He didn’t check in with parole and that’s what led to a month long manhunt here in Spokane. He was found hiding out at the base of Mount Spokane with camo gear and weapons. He went back to prison only to get out again – and again he was on parole, but he never showed up for parole for the second time. In that instance, he actually bought a car, drove to Montana, led police on a wild, high-speed chase. He then served four years in Montana state prison for that high-speed chase, then went back to federal prison for violating his parole. We’re seeing a pattern here. Then in February, he was released again and once again, didn’t show up for parole. It is incredible that this guy was even allowed to be out of prison and someone thought supervised parole was a good idea for a guy who ultimately has no respect for government, has a documented paper trail of mental illness, refuses to take medication, making threats to his own family, threats to his neighbors.

It just blows me away that now here we are talking about him being held and accused of murdering this young woman.

Bishop says the case certainly sheds some light on problems within the justice system.

Dave Ross and Owen Murphy contributed to this report.

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