Convicted killer Donovan Culps sentenced to life in prison for 2017 murder

SPOKANE, Wash. — A judge sentenced Donovan Culps to life in prison on Thursday for the murder of a man back in June 2017. 

According to a release from U.S. Attorney William Hyslop, Culps learned the victim, referred to as N.C., and George Cloud had killed a woman in late March of 2016. Just over a year later, N.C. drove to Culps’ house in Harrah. 

Once there, Culps pulled N.C. out of the car and began punching him. According to the release, N.C. asked Culps, “Why?” to which Culps responded, “You know why!” until N.C. lost consciousness. 

Culps and an accomplice then pulled N.C. behind a trailer, where they tried to zip tie him, during which he began to wake up. At that point, Culps stabbed N.C. multpiple times with a hunting knife, eventually slitting his throat in what Chief Judge Bastian described as an “execution.” 

Culps then wrapped up the victim’s body and dumped it in a separate location. It wasn’t until August that a concerned person reported N.C. was missing. 

Just months earlier, in September 2017, Culps murdered another man. Culps abducted Cameron Smith from outside the Lucid marijuana shop in Cheney, then shot and killed him. He admitted to the murder and was sentenced to 416 months in state custody. 

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According to the release, Culps also admitted to N.C.’s murder and told investigators where they could find his body. They searched the area in September 2017, and found N.C.’s remains. 

“Mr. Culps is a lifelong offender responsible for murders of multiple individuals,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Raymond Duda, “Together with our partners, the FBI will continue to investigate violent criminals and pursue justice on behalf of the citizens of the Yakama Nation and Washington state.” 

Cloud was also found guilty of and sentenced to life in prison for the murder of the woman back in March.

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