An 85-year-old American woman who shot two Kenyan sisters at their home in Federal Way, Washington - a suburb of Seattle - last month on Monday pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and assault charges.
Beverly Jenne is accused of fatally shooting 37-year-old Janet Oyuga and injuring her 45-year-old sister, Angela Oyuga on December 19th, 2019. She then attempted to commit suicide by strangling herself with a cord after the incident.
Jenne had lived in the house since it was built in 1979, but it went into foreclosure in March and was sold at a public auction in November 2019. The new owner was renovating the house and had entered into a lease-to-own agreement with the two Kenyan sisters, who decided to host Jenne until she found an alternative home.
Investigators found a note inside Jenne's car in which she claimed Janet was ‘not a good person’ and was planning to evict her and had no place to go. “She drove me to this. Janet just pushed and pushed and I just couldn’t cope anymore as I had no one to help me… I think she was getting ready to evict me and I’m 85 and no place to go,” the handwritten letter read.
Janet was pronounced dead at the scene, but Angela, who was shot several times in the chest and back, survived. In the charge sheet, Senior Deputy Prosecutor for King County Terence Carlstrom noted Jenne “clearly harbored significant animosity towards Ms. [Janet] Oyuga that culminated in shooting her multiple times (including in the back) and killing her.”
Appearing before Maleng Regional Justice Center on Monday, Jenne denied the two charges and remains held on $1 million bond.
The house, in the 2000 block of Southwest 306th Lane in Federal Way, was destroyed by fire on the morning of December 30th. Investigators said the fire started in the kitchen but were unable to determine the cause.