A Sultan woman and her boyfriend are behind bars for investigation of murder after authorities say they beat the woman's ex-boyfriend to death in a dispute over some explicit photos and the victim's refusal to leave the woman's home.

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A Sultan woman and her boyfriend are behind bars for investigation of murder after authorities say they killed the woman’s ex-boyfriend in a dispute over explicit photographs and the victim’s refusal to leave the woman’s home.

Debra Canady, 45, and Brent Starr, 30, are being held at the Snohomish County Jail for investigation of first-degree murder.

Deputy Prosecutor Ed Stemler said the two were arrested Sunday on a warrant. He said he expects to charge them in Everett District Court this week.

Canady called 911 on the morning of June 26 to report finding her ex-boyfriend, David Grimm, dead in a bed in the Sultan home they shared, according to a police report. Sultan police found Grimm stabbed and apparently beaten in the home in the 12800 block of 311th Avenue Southeast, the report said.

Grimm, 49, and Canady broke up about three months ago but continued to share a home and a bed, the report said. Canady’s mother, her daughter and granddaughter also lived at the home.

Canady told police she had tried to get Grimm to move out, but he refused. Starr told police there was tension between the two men, the report said.

Snohomish County sheriff’s Detective Patrick VanderWeyst said in his report that Grimm may have been holding explicit photos of Canady “as means to force Debra to allow him to keep living in the house.”

About a week after the slaying, deputies linked Canady and Starr with the death through cellphone text messages, according to the police report. On the messages Starr said “it’s done” and Canady told him to “toss” his clothes if authorities question him, the report said.

VanderWeyst said it appears Grimm was killed while he slept and that Starr and Canady made “an obvious attempt to cover their tracks.”

“The murder was vicious, and the victim didn’t even appear to have a chance to defend himself,” VanderWeyst said.

Jennifer Sullivan: 206-464-8294 or jensullivan@seattletimes.com