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Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

Topic: King County Proesecuting Attorney’s Office

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June 13, 2014 at 2:28 PM

Largest metal theft in state history results in 12 1/2-year sentence

A Seattle man convicted in what is believed to be the biggest metal-theft case in state history was sentenced this afternoon to about 12 1/2 years in prison. A King County jury last month convicted Donald Turpin of stealing 4.3 miles of copper wiring from the Sound Transit light-rail system between November 2010 and August 2011. He was found…

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Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: Burglary, King County Proesecuting Attorney's Office, metal theft

April 15, 2014 at 12:51 PM

No felony charges for Seattle firefighters accused of beating homeless man

Two Seattle firefighters accused of beating of a homeless man in Pioneer Square on March 15 will not face felony charges, the King County Prosecutor’s Office announced this morning. The office issued the following statement: “We reviewed this case because one of the three suspects had potentially committed a felony assault. We have concluded that there is not…

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Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: assault, King County Proesecuting Attorney's Office, Seattle Fire Department

December 23, 2013 at 11:28 AM

Wrongly convicted King County man released after 10 years in prison

A man who spent 10 years in prison for robbery and burglary has been released after the Innocence Project Northwest persuaded King County prosecutors to re-examine the man’s conviction, which was based solely on eyewitness testimony.

The case of Brandon Olebar came to the attention of the Innocence Project Northwest (IPNW),  based out of the clinical law program at the University of Washington Law School, in 2011. The project said two students “developed a body of evidence” that showed Olebar was not among the assailants who in February 2003 broke into the home of Olebar’s sister’s boyfriend, pistol-whipped and beat him unconscious and then stuffed him in a closet. The victim said as many as eight attackers beat him for more than 10 minutes, during which time he recognized Olebar’s sister as one of them. He told police the attackers had “feather” facial tattoos.

Two days after the beating, the victim identified Brandon Olebar from a photograph montage. Despite the fact that he does not have a facial tattoo and that he had an alibi, Olebar was charged with burglary and robbery, convicted by a King County jury solely on the basis of eyewitness testimony, and sentenced to 16 1/2 years in prison.

IPNW Director Jacqueline McMurtrie said two law students, Nikki Carsley and Kathleen Klineall, tracked down and interviewed three of the assailants, who signed sworn statements admitting their involvement and denying that Brandon Olebar was present. Working with IPN attorney Fernanda Torres, they presented the new evidence to Mark Larson, the chief criminal deputy prosecutor to King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg.

McMurtrie said that, over the next several months, Torres and Larson reviewed the case in light of the new the evidence developed by IPNW and conducted independent interviews of new witnesses. Last Friday, Satterberg’s office moved to vacate the conviction and dismissed the charges, and Olebar, 30, was released into the arms of his wife, Mely, and Torres.

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Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: Innoncence Project Northwest, King County Proesecuting Attorney's Office, wrongly convicted