Contract Killer Gets Life For Murdering Bothell Man

EVERETT - The Arizona contract killer who murdered a Bothell man at the behest of the man's ex-wife was sentenced yesterday to life in prison without possibility of parole.

The sentence, handed down by Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Richard Thorpe, was the only one possible since prosecutors did not seek the death penalty for Jonathan Curtis.

Curtis, 46, was found guilty of aggravated-first-degree murder in December for stabbing to death Steven Ver Woert, 43, a Sprint telephone employee. Testifying against Curtis was Marty Malone, Ver Woert's ex-wife, who said she had hired Curtis to drive with her from Arizona to kill Ver Woert for a $25,000 life-insurance policy.

Malone, 44, was first implicated in the case when she admitted the scheme on tape to Bothell detective Ed Hopkins, who had pretended he was romantically interested in her. She pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced last month to 23 years in prison.