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Closing arguments heard in trial of man accused of killing couple found washed ashore in suitcase

SEATTLE — Jurors heard closing arguments Tuesday in a disturbing case involving bodies washed ashore on Alki Beach.

The bodies were found in suitcases that were discovered on a rocky shore by a group of teenagers making a TikTok video more than two years ago.

Prosecutors say 64-year-old Michael Dudley had been renting a room to victims Jessie Lewis, 35, and Austin Wenner, 27, in Burien.

He is accused of shooting and killing the couple over a dispute about unpaid rent on June 9, 2020.

Their bodies were found ten days later.

One month later, on August 19, a search warrant was served for the Burien home that the suspect shared with the couple.

According to court documents, detectives found bullet holes, spent rounds, and blood in the room the couple was renting, and that “it was obvious the room had recently been painted and cleaned.”

The defense argued Tuesday that there is not enough evidence to convict Dudley.

Meanwhile, prosecutors say all signs point to Dudley – including his phone pinging off towers near Alki just minutes before the first suitcase was spotted.

The case will now head to the jury.