Andrew Patterson, the 21-year-old man who killed a Madrona dad with errant gunfire in May 2012, was sentenced this morning to 23 years in prison.
Justin Ferrari, a 43-year-old software engineer was the victim of a gunshot fired by Patterson while driving through the Central Area on May 24, 2012. Ferrari was with his children, ages 4 and 7, and his parents when he was struck by gunfire at the intersection at East Cherry Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Way.
Patterson pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in July. In court this morning, he tearfully apologized and promised to change. He said he opened fire that day out of self-defense during an encounter with another man on the street. Ferrari was an unintended victim.
“While I do my time I’m going to change my life,” he said.
But once he learned his sentence, Patterson’s demeanor seemed to change. “I get out when I’m 41,” he uttered as he was being led out of the courtroom. “That’s (expletive) up.”
Among those who spoke was Jeani Ferrari, who witnessed her son’s murder. She said she worries how her grandchildren will cope after watching their father die.
“Justin was robbed of a life well-planned,” she said.
Patterson’s lawyer, Aimee Sutton, had asked Judge Michael Hayden for a sentence of just over 13 years, which is below the standard sentencing range. Senior Deputy Prosecutor Scott O’Toole sought a sentence of nearly 19 years.
In a pre-sentencing memo filed with the court, Sutton argued for the lower sentence, citing Patterson’s remorse, age and claimed he suffers from learning disabilities and post-traumatic stress disorder from a difficult upbringing. But Hayden denied the request.
O’Toole, in his memo, said he didn’t identify any mitigating factors that should result in a sentence below the standard range.
Witnesses told police that Patterson and three other men had been at a deli just before the shooting when one of the men insulted Patterson, prompting him to pull out a gun and fire. The bullet missed its intended target and hit Ferrari.
According to court records, Patterson has a prior arrest record that includes juvenile charges for third-degree theft, residential burglary and criminal trespass. He has never been convicted of a felony as an adult in King County, although he was arrested in April 2011 for possession of a controlled substance. The charge was reduced to misdemeanor criminal solicitation, court records show.
A story in Friday’s Seattle Times detailed a face-to-face meeting between Ferrari’s widow, Dr. Maggie Hooks, and Patterson. The unusual meeting between killer and victim’s wife was requested by Hooks and was inspired by similiar “restorative justice”- style sit-down between a Florida family and the man who had killed their daughter.
Hooks attended this morning’s sentencing.