Her dad says she was "a good person with a good heart"

By Christine Pelisek
April 10, 2019 03:46 PM
Alisha Canales-McGuire

Three people are charged in an alleged murder-for-hire plot in which the wrong woman — the intended victim’s sister — was killed.

Alisha Canales-McGuire, 24, was fatally shot in in the doorway of her sister’s home in Everett, Washington, on September 20, 2017.

Police believe Canales-McGuire’s sister was actually the intended target but was out of town at the time, and the victim was staying in her home, states a Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office news release obtained by PEOPLE.

On Monday, police arrested 20-year-old Jerradon Phelps and a 17-year-old female on charges of first-degree aggravated murder with a firearm and first-degree criminal conspiracy to commit murder.  

Also facing the same charges is Kevin Lewis, 31, the ex-husband of the intended victim and Canales-McGuire’s former brother-in-law. Lewis, who is currently serving 39 months in prison for assault, faces an additional charge of solicitation to commit murder.

Canales-McGuire’s father Manuel Canales tells PEOPLE that news of the arrests “doesn’t do anything to bring her back, but it gives us justice to what we already knew.” He adds, “When I was informed my daughter was killed there, I told them within a minute who did this.”

Manuel says his daughter, a caretaker at a senior’s facility, had only been married for two months before she was killed. “She had just gotten married and was trying to get pregnant and have kids and it was all taken from her.  She got married in July and she was dead in September.”

Manuel says his daughter was always willing to help — and that was the reason why she was at her sister’s home that day.

“She was a great person and wanted to help whenever she could help,” he says. “She had just got off a 20-hour shift to do that and watch the three kids for a couple of days.”

Teen Suspect Allegedly Confessed to Friends

According to an affidavit obtained by PEOPLE, the case took a turn in August 2018 when a tipster called in and said the teen suspect told a group of friends at a party that she’d been hired to kill someone.

“[The teen] had been drinking and she said to the group, ‘I can trust you, right?,’” the affidavit reads. “When they replied to the affirmative [the teen] went on to say that she’s been hired to kill someone in Snohomish County on York Rd.”

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A few hours after the killing, Phelps, who was dating the teen suspect at the time, allegedly posted photos on social media “showing off several hundred dollar bills,” according to the press release.

In a police interview, Phelps allegedly admitted his role in the killing and told police Lewis approached him about killing his ex because he wanted her “out of the way,” the affidavit alleges.

Phelps said they agreed on a price of $2,400.

“Phelps described in exacting detail how the murder was committed and provided unique and intimate details of how he shot and murdered the woman who answered the door on September 20, 2017,” the affidavit alleges.

Police allege investigators also have cell phone records that show the duo drove from Spokane, where they lived, to Snohomish County to commit the crime, the press release states.

Phelps in being held in Snohomish County jail. The teen is in custody in the Denney Juvenile Justice Center. Both are being held on $5 million bail.

Lewis’ attorney did not immediately return PEOPLE’s call for comment. It was not immediately clear if the other two defendants had attorneys who could comment on their behalf.

Manuel says the arrests are bittersweet.

“She was a go-getter, a good person with a good heart, and loved a lot of people,” he says. “We have some justice but she is never coming back. That is all there is to it.”