This afternoon Everett District Court Judge Tam Bui found there was probable cause to hold Christine Faye Simpson on one million dollars bail for 1st degree murder and criminal solicitation. Simpson was arrested by Everett Police on Friday and now joins her reported boyfriend, James Daniel Archer, in custody on suspicion of killing David Webster in an Everett camp.
Everett Police probable cause documents outline the active role they say was taken by Christine Simpson in the killing of David Alan Webster in an area of camps stretching along the area west of the railroad tracks and east of I-5 between Pacific and 36th streets. Here are the probable cause documents used to justify the arrest of Simpson and they give a rarely seen look into what has been happening in that part of Everett…
Christine Simpson listens during her probable cause hearing today.
James Archer at his probable cause hearing.
On 04/07/16, a body was recovered from a wooded, swampy area that lies between Interstate 5 and the railroad tracks in approximately the 3400 block of Eclipse Mill Rd. The body was contained within a sleeping bag that had a rope wrapped around the exterior. Upon removing the body from the swamp enough evidence was observed to conclude that the victim likely died of homicidal means. The medical examiner’s office took custody of the body.
Police were first taken to the location of the victim April 7th. He’d been dead for weeks.
Everett Police spent multiple days going through the garbage filled area of campsites where the murder took place.
The following day an autopsy was performed. The victim was identified, via fingerprints, as being fifty-four year old David Alan Webster. Mr. Webster was naked inside of the sleeping bag. He had been bound and gagged. The victim also had four wounds to his head that were determined to be blunt force trauma. The only other injury to his body was a laceration to his left leg.
The investigation of Mr. Webster’s murder has revealed that Christine Simpson solicited at least two individuals to commit a robbery of Mr. Webster for what she portrayed to the first individual as being the enforcing of a drug debt. When the first known individual refused to enforce the alleged drug debt for her she solicited her boyfriend, James Archer to do so. She provided Mr. Archer a different reasoning telling him that Mr. Webster had come into her camp, tried sleeping with her, and stole money from her. Ms. Simpson not only solicited the act, but took on the active role of being a lookout while the crime was being committed. Furthermore, she directed Mr. Archer as to what needed to be done with Mr. Webster’s body after he’d been killed. She also, at a minimum, held onto the rope that was being used to move Mr. Webster’s body to a more discreet location.
The following is a synopsis of the case:
Since the time that Mr. Webster’s body was recovered numerous individuals have been interviewed. I have interviewed Christine Simpson on two occasions in addition to remotely viewing the second attempt at having her take a polygraph examination. In her first interview she barely mentioned her boyfriend, Mr. Archer. She also denied having any involvement in the death of Mr. Webster. The information that she provided in her second interview assisted in identifying her boyfriend, James Archer, as a suspect in the case; ultimately Mr. Archer admitted to his participation in the murder of Mr. Webster and was booked for murder in the first degree. In Ms. Simpson’s second interview she provided information placing her in close proximity to the crime when it was occurring and acting as a lookout while Mr. Archer robbed Mr. Webster of money, clothing and his wallet. It was later learned that Mr. Webster’s murder had occurred within feet of where her tent had been situated on the side of the trail just west of where Mr. Webster’s camp had been on the hillside. Ms. Simpson claimed to have been inside her tent and unable to hear what was occurring between Mr. Archer and Mr. Webster. Information that Mr. Archer provided in his interview contradicted her claim of no knowledge of the crime. Their accounts also contradicted in that Ms. Simpson had claimed that everything that she’d witnessed had happened in the dark, making it difficult for her to see. Mr. Archer advised that the murder and subsequent moving of Mr. Webster’s body had occurred during the hours of daylight. He also placed Ms. Simpson on scene as Mr. Webster was being killed in addition to providing information about how she’d directed him to move the body.
In Ms. Simpson’s first interview she expressed how Mr. Webster was irritating and bothered a lot of people, whereas in her second interview she acted more like she cared about him. In her first interview she’d commented that he wasn’t part of the “family”. Ms. Simpson said that her last interaction with Mr. Webster had been a few weeks prior to 04/08/16. According to Ms. Simpson, Mr. Webster had been entertaining a female in her campsite; Ms. Simpson didn’t appreciate him ·having done so. The female that Ms. Webster was referring to has since been contacted. She denies ever having a sexual relationship with Mr. Webster. She also denies having ever been in Ms. Simpson’s camp.
I suspected that Ms. Simpson knew more about the incident than she’d provided in her first interview. She was re-interviewed. In her second interview (04/09/16) she advised that she’d been in her tent one day when she· heard and saw Mr. Webster and Mr. Archer screaming at each other on the trail. She said that she hadn’t seen Mr. Archer for two or three days and hadn’t expected him to come by. She said that she’d seen two neighboring campers, Camper 1 and Camper 2 coming up the trail. She said she told Camper 1, ‘There’s a situation up here. You may want to take your wife the other way.” She later stated that she’d told the two, “There’s a situation up here. Jim’s got a situation up here with Doc and you might want to take her the other way.” Camper 1 later provided Detective Brenneman the same information about Ms. Simpson blocking the path and telling him and Camper 2 to go the other way. Camper 1 said that Ms. Simpson had told him that “Jim” was doing something down the trail that they didn’t want to see. He further advised that Ms. Simpson had told him to go back the other way and wouldn’t allow him to pass. He estimated that had occurred about one month prior to his 04/08/16 interview. This was exactly one month from when Mr. Webster was killed according to Mr. Archer.
Ms. Simpson claimed that on the same night of Mr. Webster and Mr. Archer’s argument she’d seen something wrapped in plastic along the fence line. According to her account, that was when she saw what she believed was the flesh of a body. However, based on Mr. Archer’s account of the incident, Ms. Simpson was already aware of where Mr. Webster’s body had been hidden; she was the one that directed moving his body to a second location. When I spoke with Ms. Simpson, she admitted to having held the rope that was used in an attempt to pull Mr. Webster up the hill while Mr. Archer was trying to move the body up the hill.
When Mr. Archer was interviewed on 04/14/16, he advised that Ms. Simpson had called him to take care of Mr. Webster. Ms. Simpson told Mr. Archer that Mr. Webster and a female had come into her tent in the middle of the night and stole $300.00 from her; she wanted him to right the wrong for her. As he was going to speak with Ms. Simpson at her camp he came into contact with Mr. Webster along the trail about twenty feet before he came into contact with Ms. Simpson. When Mr. Webster said he didn’t take the money Mr. Archer got upset. An argument ensued that escalated to a physical altercation, which resulted in Mr. Webster’s death. During the altercation Mr. Archer picked up a hammer and hit Mr. Webster in the head two or three times. It should be noted that Ms. Simpson had told me that Mr. Archer had obtained a piece of metal and a hammer that he later told her he’d used on Mr. Archer. Her description gave the appearance that she wasn’t present for what had occurred with those items. Mr. Archer’s description, however, is that he grabbed the hammer, in Ms. Simpson’s presence, while the robbery and murder of Mr. Webster was occurring. Mr. Archer also advised of the location where Mr. Webster’s clothing and wallet had been burnt in the camp that he and Ms. Simpson had shared. Detectives located evidence in that location that appeared consistent with Mr. Archer’s account.
In speaking with Mr. Archer about a timeframe in which the murder occurred, he recalled his whereabouts and activities for the day, which assisted in pinpointing the date of the incident and retrieving additional evidence pertaining to the crime.
It should be noted that Ms. Simpson never mentioned that Mr. Webster and a female had taken money from her until after the information was published in the newspaper. She said that this had occurred two to three days prior to Mr. Archer and Mr. Webster’s argument.
Another individual who is known to me, but will remain nameless for the integrity of the case at this point in time, has provided information that further supports Ms. Simpson’s direct involvement in the death of Mr. Webster. The individual has known Mr. Archer, Ms. Simpson and Mr. Webster for several years. For the past year and a half they have worked for Ms. Simpson as an enforcer. It was explained that when people ripped Ms. Simpson off in her drug sales that this individual would collect for her. In exchange for the individuals’ services, Ms. Simpson would pay him a specific percentage of whatever was collected on her behalf. The individual would be paid in cash or methamphetamine. It was further explained to me that in enforcing drug debts for Ms. Simpson this individual was expected to beat the individual up and take everything they had or to set them up on a payment plan to repay the drug debt.
The individual provided estimates of the dates in which the following occurred. In early to mid-march Ms. Simpson had asked him to collect three hundred dollars from Mr. Webster. Ms. Simpson told this individual that she’d provided Mr. Webster with $300 to buy a half ounce of methamphetamine for her. Mr. Webster allegedly never returned with the methamphetamine or the money that Ms. Simpson had given him. When Ms. Simpson asked the individual to take care of Mr. Webster, they refused to do it because Mr. Webster was a friend. They advised that they don’t collect from friends and family. The individual said that they refused to beat up a friend, so Ms. Simpson got angry with them. The individual informed me that Ms. Simpson had told him that if he didn’t do it then her old man, Mr. Archer, would take care of it for her as soon as he was released from Monroe. I have since learned, from the Department of Corrections, that Mr. Archer had been incarcerated from 02/18/16 to 03/04/16. When the individual learned of a murder in the area where Ms. Simpson and Mr. Archer lived they began to put together recent events that had occurred involving Ms. Simpson and Mr. Archer.
The individual estimated that two to three days after Mr. Archer’s 03/04/16 release from Monroe he’d been in camp #8 on the north end of the trail that leads into the wooded area where Mr. Webster’s body was discovered. They heard Ms. Simpson and Mr. Archer arguing in what they believed was the evening/early morning hours. The two weren’t aware that anyone was in the area, as camp (#8) is surrounded by vegetation, blocking the view of who might be within it. The individual heard Ms. Simpson tell Mr. Archer that Mr. Webster had ripped her off for $300 and that he’d attempted sleeping with her. She told Mr. Archer that either he takes care of Mr. Webster or they we’re finished (their relationship). Mr. Archer then told Ms. Simpson that he would take care of it. The individual didn’t’ believe that Mr. Webster would have actually tried to sleep with Ms. Simpson; he believed that Ms. Simpson had been trying to make things look worse than they were so that Mr. Archer would get upset and enforce for her. They’d witnessed Ms. Simpson manipulate Mr. Archer in the past.
It should be noted that information that the individual provided has been confirmed through other sources as well. Many individuals, including Everett Police Officers have informed me of their knowledge of Ms. Simpson being a methamphetamine dealer. It has also been confirmed by a member of the drug task force that $300 for an oz. of methamphetamine is close in the range of the current street market pricing.
Ms. Simpson has portrayed herself as a vulnerable victim in this incident; however, her reputation amongst her peers is quite the opposite. Many individuals have said that she isn’t a nice person and controls what others can do within the camps and on the block nearby the men’s mission. Several people have commented that they believe Ms. Simpson was involved in the death of Mr. Webster; that Mr. Archer wouldn’t have acted alone or without prompting from Ms. Simpson. Ms. Simpson reported that her life and the lives of her grandchild and dog had been threatened by Mr. Archer when he handed her the rope to help move Mr. Webster’s body. Mr. Archer admitted that he’d threatened Ms. Simpson, however, the nature of the threat and the timing of the threat differed dramatically from Ms. Simpson’s account. Mr. Archer said that he had threatened Ms. Simpson a few days after Mr. Webster was killed. He said that they’d been arguing and Ms. Simpson had threatened to report what he’d done. Mr. Archer said that he’d threatened to report that she’d killed Mr. Webster if she reported to the police.
This investigation has revealed that Ms. Simpson contacted the individual known to me and Mr. Archer in an attempt to have him take care of Mr. Webster for allegedly stealing from her or owing her for a drug debt. It is unknown where Ms. Simpson would have obtained three hundred dollars, as she reported to me that she didn’t have any source of income. Mr. Webster, on the other hand, did have a source of income and likely had the alleged amount of money in his possession at the time of the murder. On the date in question, Ms. Simpson acted as a lookout while Mr. Archer was dealing with Mr. Webster in one form or another. She blocked the trail preventing others from seeing anything that was occurring between Mr. Archer and Mr. Webster. Had she not blocked the path perhaps Camper 1 and Camper 2 would have been able to intercept and/or summon help. She was present during the murder and even commented to Mr. Archer that he needed to be quiet, which led to the gagging of Mr. Webster. She didn’t help Mr. Webster, instead she stood by as he was bound and gagged and allowed him to die over a supposed stolen $300. Ms. Simpson also later directed Mr. Archer as to what needed to be done with Mr. Webster’s body; she told him that he needed to move Mr. Webster’s body because it smelled. At some point she also held onto the rope that had been wrapped around Mr. Webster’s body when Mr. Archer was attempting to move the body to another location. Furthermore, Mr. Webster had been forcefully removed of his clothing and wallet, which were ultimately burnt in Ms. Simpson and Mr. Archer’s camp. Ms. Simpson’s repeated demands for Mr. Webster to be taken care of led to his death, which she was clearly a participant in. Additionally, she made no attempt to report anything about Mr. Webster’s death until she was confronted the second time and wanted leniency for an unrelated charge.
Ms. Simpson was located and arrested on 04/29/16. She was read her Constitutional Rights and agreed to provided a recorded statement. Ms. Simpson continued to deny being present during Mr. Webster’s murder, but admitted to asking several individuals to deal with Mr. Webster for the money that she thought he’d stolen from her. Ms. Simpson confirmed that the individual who’d identified themselves as her enforcer, had in fact worked for her at least a dozen times in that capacity. She said that person would collect drug debts by taking something of similar value to the debt from the indivdual. The item taken from the indebted individual would be taken by force. Ms. Simpson advised that her enforcer would be paid by her with money or drugs. She confirmed that the last individual she’d solicited to take care of Mr. Webster was her boyfriend, Mr. Archer. Ms. Simpson said that she’d been present when Mr. Webster’s backpack/belongings were being gone through. She also said that Mr. Archer had given her $60.00 that had been taken from Mr. Webster in the course of the robbery and his subsequent murder. She’d also used other items of Mr. Websters, after his death, that she’d known belonged to him.
Ms. Simpson is being booked under probable cause for murder in the first degree, as the robbery that she solicited/demanded led to Mr. Webster’s death. Furthermore, she is being booked under probable cause for criminal solicitation for her first attempt at getting one of her enforcers to “collect” from Mr. Webster. Had that individual collected (beat up and taken everything Mr. Webster had) they would have been paid a percentage of whatever was taken from Mr. Webster.
Editor’s Note: Again a reminder the above is a probable cause document written by an Everett Police Detective to show reason for the arrest of Christine Simpson. It will be up to the Snohomish County Prosecutor to file formal charges by 5:00 PM Wednesday or release Ms. Simpson from custody.