Michael Dudley: Where is Jessica Lewis’ and Austin Wenner’s Killer Now?

In the summer of 2020, a bunch of TikTokers made the horrifying discovery of a suitcase filled with the remains of Austin Wenner and Jessica Lewis and recorded it on camera. The video went viral and the police launched an investigation immediately. The entire case is profiled in the episode titled ‘The Lethal Landlord’ of Netflix’s ‘Worst Roommate Ever,’ which provides intricate details of the double homicide. It took more than two months to capture the perpetrator, Michael Lee Dudley, whose old age worked for him in evading justice.

Michael Dudley Had Plenty of Experience in His Technical Career

Hailing from Ashland, Oregon, Michael “Mike” Lee Dudley showed a keen interest in the studies of computers and software from his early days. After completing high school, he studied Computer Science as part of his Undergraduate Studies at the University of Oregon. Then, he joined Southern Oregon University to study Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with Minors in Computer Science and Economic History. For a year, Michael also moved to California and completed a course on Telecommunications Management from Golden Gate University. His professional career reportedly began as a Unix Administrator at Weyerhaeuser Company in September 1996.

Image Credit: Mike Dudley/LinkedIn

After a 5-year stint there, Michael moved to Verisign Telecommunications, where she served as a SAN Architect. He was employed there for more than a year, after which he moved companies in the following couple of years for short periods of time before becoming a Storage Engineer for Western Wireless in 2004. Simultaneously, for three years, he was also working at Verizon Wireless and Alltel as a Storage Administrator. The next major break in his career came in 2007 when he bagged a job at AT&T as a Consultant. In the meantime, he was also associated with other companies in the industry, including Convergent USA, SMUD, and Boeing Research & Technology. He also owned SANexpert, which he ran from 2002 to December 2019. In the later part of his career, he returned to AT&T as a part-time Data Center Engineer.

Michael Took the Lives of a Couple Who Rented One of the Rooms in His House

Residing in the Seattle metropolitan area, Washington, Michael used to rent out the guest rooms of his house. Shelly Morgan and her two dogs were his former roommates, along with his Chihuahua, and they shared an amicable bond with each other. During one of their walks with their respective dogs, his dog, unfortunately, met with an accident on the road. A few weeks later, when one of Shelly’s dogs allegedly did something to his hen, he reportedly killed her dog and buried the furry little pet. Around the same time, Jessica Lewis and her boyfriend Austin Wenner were also living on rent in Michael’s Burien home. he reportedly got into a heated argument with the couple over unpaid rent on June 9, 2020, and fired fatal shots at them while Austin allegedly begged for his life.

When the police arrived after a neighbor’s complaint, Michael did not respond to their constant knocks on the door. Reportedly, Michael dismembered Austin and Jessica’s bodies and stuffed them into suitcases before throwing them into different water bodies, including on Alki Beach and off of Duwamish River. More than two months after the double homicide, he was finally arrested on August 19, 2020, and charged with two counts of second-degree murder. His previous felonies include VUCSA, carrying a concealed weapon in a vehicle, taking a vehicle for temporary use, vehicle theft, and DUI in Oregon.

Michael Dudley is Behind Bars at a Washington Jail

In late 2022, Michael Dudley stood trial for murdering Jessica Lewis and Austin Wenner in June 2020. On December 8, 2020, he was found guilty by the jury and convicted of the charges against him. However, Michael maintained his innocence throughout the trial and claimed that the evidence of gunshots inside the property was a result of him mistakenly firing a firearm that was not aimed at anybody. Austin’s mother, Charleen Kriens, addressed the court after the conviction, “The world is a safer place without Michael Dudley in it. Everybody can rest easy tonight because of that.”

Image Credit: KING 5 Seattle/YouTube

A few months later, on April 7, 2023, Michael received a 46-year imprisonment sentence. The convict also took to the stand and addressed the judge, claiming his innocence and saying that the victims’ deaths had nothing to do with rent money. He also stated, “This isn’t really about me — it’s about justice for Austin and Jessica, and when all things are considered, I’m sure the truth will come out. In the end, they did good, despite their pernicious nature.” At present, Michael Lee Dudley is serving his sentence at Washington State Penitentiary at 1313 North 13th Avenue in Walla Walla, Washington, with the possibility of parole. However, he will not be eligible for parole until he is 104 years old.

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