Jury returns guilty verdict in White Swan mass killings

Posted at 3:16 PM, March 10, 2022 and last updated 4:34 PM, July 5, 2023

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — A jury on Wednesday found James Dean Cloud guilty of several counts of first-degree murder, kidnapping and carjacking in a 2019 mass homicide that shook the Yakama Reservation.

John Cagle, Michelle Starnes, Catherine Eneas, Thomas Hernandez and Dennis Overaker were shot to death June 8, 2019, just west of White Swan.

James Cloud (Washington State Dept. of Corrections)

James Cloud and Donovan Quinn Carter Cloud were charged in U.S. District Court with murder, attempted murder, kidnapping, assault with a deadly weapon and brandishing a firearm with intent to commit bodily injury.

Donovan Cloud, who was supposed to be tried after James Cloud, entered a guilty plea Wednesday to carjacking and brandishing a firearm, the Seattle Times reported.

The Clouds will be sentenced July 26 in Yakima. James Cloud faces a potential life sentence. Donovan Cloud faces up to 27 years in custody, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The jury found James Cloud guilty on four counts of first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of Starnes, Eneas, Overacker and Hernandez. They also found him guilty of kidnapping, carjacking, assault and brandishing a firearm while committing a crime.

The jury found him not guilty of second-degree murder in Cagle’s death. Cagle’s body was found in a game room separate from the trailer.