By Eric Stevick
For The Globe
EVERETT — A Marysville man booked for investigation of murder this week has been released from the Snohomish County Jail after detectives confirmed the story he gave when detained for questioning.
“He provided us a credible alibi,” sheriff’s spokeswoman Shari Ireton said Friday.
A woman who told detectives she watched the man fatally attack a south Everett woman remains in the jail. She’s being held for investigation of rendering criminal assistance. She has admitted driving the victim’s car, possessing her cell phone and using her credit cards, court papers say.
It wasn’t clear where the investigation is headed now. “We are looking at several persons of interest,” Ireton said.
Carl Bustard, 59, was released from jail Thursday night. He’d been held on $5 million bail after a judge found probable cause for his arrest.
Bustard is represented by Everett attorney Anna Goykhman. She said Friday that the defense connected detectives with witnesses who provided her client a “rock solid alibi.” It soon became clear that Bustard was the victim of a rush to judgment by police and what appears to be an attempt by a witness to frame him for the killing, Goykhman said.
“Police and prosecutors make mistakes which result in innocent people being charged and even convicted more often than they (or we as a society) would care to admit,” she said. “Sometimes it is decades before an innocent person is exonerated. I’m glad that, although my client’s life will never be the same after such a horrible experience, his name was cleared.”
The body of the victim, 50, was discovered in her home south of Everett Tuesday. She had suffered multiple stab wounds.
Detectives believe the woman was killed in her home in the 12000 block of 4th Avenue W in Everett. They initially believed she died May 25, based on what the other suspect — Tammie Lewis, 54 — told detectives. Bustard adamantly denied her allegations and told police she is mentally unstable and a liar.
The bail for Lewis remains at $250,000. The woman also goes by the last name Peterson.
Lewis told detectives she recently had been staying at the victim’s home.
Another roommate called 9-1-1 Tuesday to report that he had discovered the victim’s body in her bedroom after smelling a foul odor for a couple of days. He told detectives he hadn’t seen the victim for several days.
Release of the victim’s name is pending from the medical examiner’s office, as well as the cause and manner of death.