Jennifer Walstrand’s Killer Found Guilty, Faces Minimum 30-Year Sentence

Jennifer Walstrand

by Ralph Nichols

Daniel Alexander Threadgill will face a minimum of 30 years in prison when he is sentenced for the brutal murder of Jennifer Walstrand in her Des Moines apartment Aug. 31, 2010.

Threadgill, 24, was convicted by a King County Superior Court jury Feb. 7 of first-degree murder for the stabbing death of Walstrand, who was 28.

The case was heard before Superior Court Judge Cheryl Carey at the Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent. Sentencing is scheduled for March 23.

Threadgill was also convicted of committing murder with deliberate cruelty, which will add to the length of his sentence.

The additional charge was brought by Senior King County Prosecutors Carla Carlstrom and Amy Montgomery due to the aggravated violence of the crime.

Although trial began in December, its progress was delayed first by the holidays and then extreme winter weather conditions.

Prosecutors told jurors that Walstrand, who had an extensive record of prostitution working as a “high-end” call girl, was stabbed at least 63 times even as she pleaded for her life.

They said she also suffered severe blunt-force trauma when Threadgill then stomped on her head because she was still breathing, inflicting additional brutal injuries.

Jurors learned that Walstrand was attacked by Threadgill, a pimp, because she was a rival of Araya McMillon-Cooper, who was one of his prostitutes.

Walstrand and McMillon-Cooper lived in separate apartments in a triplex at 24005 25th Ave. S. in Des Moines.

Although Threadgill and McMillon-Cooper were persons of interest from the start, both denied involvement in Walstrand’s murder.

Des Moines Police detectives finally got the break they needed when an anonymous tipster called Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound last May 17.

Two witnesses subsequently agreed to participate in wiretap surveillance of both Threadgill and McMillon-Cooper. Both were arrested on charges of first-degree murder on June 21.

During the trial, McMillon-Cooper testified that she went to Walstrand’s apartment the night of the murder, ostensibly to get some clothes.

When Threadgill knew she was inside, he walked in and began attacking Walstrand while McMillon-Cooper stood by and watched, ignoring Walstrand’s cries for help.

McMillon-Cooper’s case was separated from Threadgill’s before trial. She agreed to plead guilty to a reduced charge of conspiracy to commit murder in exchange for her testimony against him.

Now that she has testified, her plea will be formalized in superior court. Prosecutors will recommend that she be sentenced to eight years in prison.

Although McMillon-Cooper claimed she didn’t know Threadgill was going to murder Walstrand, she not only stood by while he did but later assisted in his getaway and covered up for him.

Prosecutors agreed to the plea deal, however, because her testimony was essential to their case to get the jury to convict Threadgill.

Read our previous coverage of this story here.


16 Responses to “Jennifer Walstrand’s Killer Found Guilty, Faces Minimum 30-Year Sentence”
  1. Joe Average says:

    So what happened to the woman that was arrested and charged along with Threadgill? It seems like a part of this story is missing.

  2. Ralph Nichols says:

    Mr. Average,
    A “breaking” story typically reports the essence – the lead information – of the larger story. The rest of the story will be posted soon. Yes, I actually had a handle on this already. And, for the record, we broke news of the verdict hours before anyone else.

    • Joe Average says:

      Mr. Nichols,
      Thanks for school’n me in the ways of journalism. Mr. Fuller is correct. I think you need to double check the address in your story. The address you provided is off about 40 blocks and no where near the college and South 240th where this sadness actually took place. At least according to “other” reports. I am sorry for wanting both details and accuracy in the news story.

      Thank you however for breaking this story on the verdict of what I thought was a open public trial about a very tragic murder story. Next year in junior high they will probably give you even more difficult assignments.

  3. Kay McCormack says:

    I agree with Mr. joe Average. I had to go to an additional news source to find out what charges were found against Synae McMillon-Cooper in the murder of Jennifer Walstrand. If you “had a handle on this” and broke the news verdict “hours before anyone else” you could have taken a couple of minutes for this additional information.

  4. Dean Fuller says:

    You might double check that address.

  5. Ralph Nichols says:

    Whoops! My typo. Will get it corrected in the story.

    Correct address is 24005 25th Ave. S., this from the police declaration of probable cause.


    • Concerened Reader says:

      For the record, Threadgill was not Walstrand’s pimp. The guy who pimped Walstrand and Cooper did testify at the trial. This has been reported incorrectly in several news reports.

  6. a friend says:

    Araya McMillion was sentensed yesterday to 10 YEARS!!!! Thank you to the judge who did not believe 8 years was enough for this “Pure Evil Bitch”. I still can not believe she had the NERVE to look at Jennifer’s family and friends and spit out an I’m sorry, when we all heard on the wire she said she had no remorse, and she still doesn’t…well maybe remorse that she got caught but that is all. I hope she spends every second of the 10 years and that her child never has to be subject to her evil.

  7. Tlkn bout says:

    I actually went to highschool and middle school with araya..she was always good at starting stuff and she was always trying to punk someone or fight…smh very sad for the girl and very surprised that araya would even do this…i still dont even get the story and i wonder where her son is??!?

  8. lovely says:

    I knew araya also when she was pregnant at our youth group/ clubfriday she was always sweet to me but anybody who could be the reason for anybodys death on purpose deserve life idc how sweet u were to me its fake as hell and her son omfg now he has to deal without a mom and a dad what an idiot my heart goes out to walstand

  9. Sara says:

    Sadly, Jennifer was a prostitute and “bottom b”. She chose to involve herself in that life and stood by while Calvin beat Araya. None of the people involved here were good people. Araya was not Threadgill’s prostitute. She worked for Calvin. She was dating Threadgill. Calvin Smith was the pimp and had beat Araya right in front of Jennifer and Threadgill. Threadgill got angry. Araya wanted Jennifer dead because Jennifer told Calvin that she was partying too loudly in the apartment next to Jennifer. Araya was beaten multiple times in front of Jennifer and Jennifer did nothing. They all deserve prison. Jennifer shouldn’t have been murdered, but she wasn’t a good person.

    • Charing Mcvey says:

      So with them girls being mad at Daniel Threadgill they decided to set him up because he didn’t know Jennifer he said. And why he 40 years if he didn’t kill her. And the lawyer even said that there was DNA on Jennifer to prove that mr. Threadgill did it

  10. Katherine says:

    You know sometimes we get caught up in the riģht of the victim I’m not saying Jennifer’s death was right but ppl can be very vengeful when something is being done to them at the hands of this young women I mean she did initiate the beatings that Araya took I guess you might say in a way “Fair exchange is no Robbery” Jennifer’s just ended in death

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