The Associated Press PORTLAND — The Justice Department says U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has decided against seeking the death penalty for two people accused in a 2011 Northwest crime spree that left four dead, including a couple in Everett. The U.S. Attorney’s Office filed notice Friday in federal court and issued a statement, neither explaining the decision….More
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A King County Superior Court judge sentenced Jorge Lizarraga to 38 years in prison this afternoon for the shooting death of Devin Topps, a popular 18-year-old Kentridge High School football star, outside a house party in Kent on Halloween 2010. Lizarraga, now 23, was found guilty of second-degree murder in December for Topps’ death, a charge that also carried a firearms enhancement. Topps was killed…More
The Associated Press TACOMA — The Pierce County prosecutor charged a Puyallup man with second-degree murder Tuesday in the stabbing death of a Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier who intervened in a domestic-violence assault. Prosecutor Mark Lindquist also charged 29-year-old Chase Devyver with attempted murder and robbery in the assault Sunday on his girlfriend. Prosecutors say Devyver stabbed her outside their house and…More
By COLLEEN BARRY
FLORENCE, Italy —The defense lawyer for the former boyfriend of Seattle’s Amanda Knox told an appeals court Thursday that the young lovers were blamed by authorities for the murder of a British student to calm fears that a monster was loose in their Italian university town.
Defender Giulia Bongiorno said her client, Raffaele Sollecito, and Knox were identified as suspects by police in a “record” four days after the murder of Meredith Kercher in the central town of Perugia because authorities “did not want to think that a stranger, a monster, could have entered a house and murdered a student.”
Bongiorno said much of the evidence later used to convict the pair in their first trial — including the presumed murder weapon found in Sollecito’s kitchen drawer and a clasp that had been ripped from Kercher’s bra — had not even been gathered by investigators at that point.
Bongiorno, on the last day of closing arguments in the pair’s third trial, showed a court slides and videos in a bid to dismantle the prosecution’s case. Sollecito sat at her side.
Kercher, 21, was found murdered in her bedroom in the apartment she shared with Knox and two others on Nov. 2, 2007, having been sexually assaulted and stabbed.
In their first trial, Knox and Sollecito were sentenced to 26 years and 25 years, respectively, in proceedings that made headlines around the world.
Italy’s high court ordered the case back to trial after vacating their 2011 acquittals, blasting the appeals court’s handling of the case. While Sollecito, now 29, has attended several hearings, Knox, 26, remains in Seattle, where she returned a free woman after her acquittal.
A third man, Ivory Coast-born Rudy Hermann Guede, is serving a 16-year term in the case after being convicted in a separate trial.
Knox, in an interview published Thursday in the La Repubblica newspaper, said she didn’t return to face trial because she feared being jailed again.
“It was a difficult choice, because I would have wanted to come to Italy to speak directly to the judges,” Knox was quoted as saying.
She added that she hopes she can meet Kercher’s parents “after my innocence has been definitively confirmed.”More
Four members of a white-supremacist gang, and the girlfriend of one of them, have been charged with killing a fifth member of the group, according to the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office. According to police and prosecutors, the group believed the victim, Derek Wagner, 27, of Kalama, Cowlitz County, was associating with a rival gang and sleeping…More
Sgt. 1st Class Michael Barbera, who is charged with two counts of premeditated murder stemming from an incident in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom, is being transferred to Joint Base Lewis-McChord to face military justice, according to an I CORPS news release. Joint Base Lewis-McChord issued a news statement Friday saying that Barbera, 31, had been charged with…More
UPDATE 8:10 p.m. | Lakewood police say the 32-year-old boyfriend was arrested this evening in the death this morning of the 33-year-old woman. In a news release, police say it is likely the man will be arraigned Thursday afternoon. ORIGINAL POST | Lakewood police are investigating an apparent homicide in Lakewood, Pierce County, this morning. Details are scarce,…More
A 21-year-old man who last year killed his 17-year-old ex-girlfriend and set fire to her suburban Renton home has been sentenced to 33 years in prison. Jarod Thomas Lane was sentenced Friday afternoon after pleading guilty last month in the murder of Jessica Scholl and the arson of her family’s home in May 2012, according to King…More
The Associated Press and Seattle Times archives FALL RIVER, Mass. — Prosectors say a man convicted of killing his mother and a newlywed Washington state couple has been returned to Massachusetts to face a murder charge in a 1988 slaying. The Bristol County District Attorney’s office said Wednesday that 47-year-old Daniel Tavares Jr. will be arraigned Monday…More
ATLANTA — A soldier from Eastern Washington accused of running an anti-government militia has been sentenced to life in prison without parole for a double slaying. Pvt. Isaac Aguigui of Cashmere, Chelan County, pleaded guilty as part of a deal that spared him the death penalty on two counts of murder with malice. He…More