King County Prosecuting Attorney
||Updated: 10:25 a.m. June 18
Guilty Verdict in 2011 DV Murder: A jury returned a guilty verdict yesterday in the trial of State v. Johnnie Lee Wiggins, finding him guilty of Murder in the Second Degree for the death of his girlfriend Prudence Hockley in Seattle on Christmas Eve 2011. The verdict included an aggravating factor that the assault was committed in the presence of a minor child, the victim’s teen daughter, who found Hockley unconscious on the home’s driveway. During a short proceeding after the verdict, the jury found a second aggravating factor that the defendant had an aggravated history of domestic violence with other victims. Wiggins, 49, will be sentenced on July 19 at 1 p.m. before Judge Laura Middaugh at the King County Courthouse. Although the standard sentence range is approximately 20 to 30 years in prison, the Court can go above the standard range based on the two aggravating factors in the case. The case was handled by Senior DPA David Martin.
Charges Filed in Copper Wire Theft: King County Prosecutors have charged two men with what prosecutors believe to be the largest known metal theft in Washington State for stealing approximately 4.3 miles of copper wiring from the Sound Transit Light Rail System. Defendants Donald Howard Turpin, 54, and Lee Russell Skelly, 44, are accused of stealing the wire from November 2010 through August of 2011. Both men are charged with Burglary Second Degree and Trafficking in Stolen Property First Degree. Turpin is also charged with Theft First Degree with a special sentencing aggravator.
The defendants allegedly committed the theft by entering maintenance hatches in a tunnel that runs below the light rail between the SeaTac and Rainer Beach Rail Stations. They would enter at night and remove the copper wire, which is designed to ground “stray voltage” in the track system, by using standard bolt cutters. They allegedly dropped the wire through air vents and then drove along the line, picking up the cut wire at various locations. Detectives believe that the theft occurred over several months, with the defendants working through the night to cut and strip the wire. Evidence gathered by King County Sheriff’s Detectives shows that the men allegedly took the wire to various scrap metal recycling businesses in King County and sold the metal. The investigation focused on Turpin after detectives found DNA evidence on items in the tunnel. Turpin made approximately $39,000 in profit while Skelly received over $4000. Turpin had a state issued business license which would allow him to scrap the metal with little if any scrutiny by the scrap metal buyers. The replacement cost of the 70,000 pounds of copper wire is estimated at $1.3 million so far.
King County Prosecutors worked this year on a statewide metal theft taskforce to help pass House Bill 1552, which creates new requirements for scrap metal buyers to document their purchases from would be sellers. Those requirements include either video tapping the sale or taking copies of the seller’s valid identification. The new law also increases penalties for selling stolen scrap metal. It will go into effect in July but will not impact the thefts committed by Turpin and Skelly.
“This crime shows the astounding lengths that some criminals will go to take what isn’t theirs,” said King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg. “The defendants in this case literally stripped away at our public transportation infrastructure," he added. “Stealing miles of copper wire must be hard work, because it was the defendants’ Gatorade bottles left at the scene which ultimately was their undoing,” Satterberg added. Arraignment is scheduled for June 27 at 8:30 a.m. at the King County Courthouse. Both defendants are currently out of custody. If convicted as charged, the sentence range for Turpin is 63 to 84 months in prison. Skelly faces up to one year in jail. Prosecutors wish to thank Detectives JD Williams and Paula Bates for their hard work on this case.
State v. Cu Van Truong: Deputy Prosecutors Alex Voorhees and Jennifer Worley have secured a conviction against Cu Van Truong, who was accused in the shooting death of Jason Saechao after an argument in White Center on December 28, 2011. Truong, 27, was convicted by a jury of Murder in the First Degree with a Firearm Enhancement. The trial was before Judge Catherine Shaffer. A sentencing date has not yet been set. Truong is facing a possible sentence of 40 to 50 years in prison
Defendant Sentenced in 2011 Bus Shelter Shooting: Defendant Say Keodara was sentenced this morning to 69 years in prison after being convicted of one count of Murder First Degree and three counts of Assault First Degree for a September 2011 shooting during a robbery attempt at a Seattle bus shelter that left one man dead and three other people wounded. All four charges included firearm sentencing enhancements. He was also convicted of Unlawful Possession of a Firearm based on his previous felony conviction. The defendant tried to rob three homeless men at the bus shelter and became angry when they didn't have any valuables or cash. A woman who had been waiting for a bus was also wounded in the shooting. Senior DPA Carla Carlstrom prosecuted the case before Judge Laura Middaugh.
Hope Remains for Impaired Driving Bills in Legislature
The momentum of several extraordinarily tragic vehicular homicide cases in King County has kept the Legislature focused on improving our response to DUI in the present special session.
Competing bills in each house contain these essential elements:
Felony DUI: Current law requires it to be the 5th DUI in 10 years. Each bill would change that to the 4th;
Stronger penalties (jail and financial) for repeat DUI offenders including treatment options;
Mandatory arrest and booking into jail for repeat DUI offenders;
Mandatory Ignition Interlock Devices for repeat DUI offenders as condition of release;
Increased penalty for DUI drivers with children under 16 in the car;
Aggravated circumstance available when DUI or felony driver is wrong-way on highway.
Learn more about Impaired Driving Bills . . .
Guilty Verdict in Seattle Bus Shelter Shooting
A jury has found a Renton man guilty as charged of Murder First Degree and Assault First Degree for a fatal shooting during a robbery attempt at a South Seattle bus shelter that left one man dead and three other people wounded. The jury convicted Say Keodara of Murder First Degree and three counts of Assault First Degree. All four charges include firearm sentencing enhancements. He was also convicted of Unlawful Possession of a Firearm.
In the early morning hours of September 12, 2011, the defendant and two other males drove up to the bus shelter where three homeless men were sitting and asked if they wanted to buy some cocaine.
Learn more about the Seattle Bus Shelter Shooting . . .
Senior DPA Wins Award for Work Protecting Elders
Senior DPA Page Ulrey has received the “Investigator of the Year Award” from Concierge Care Advisors, a group that helps connect seniors, veterans and their families to in-home care or senior housing options.
L-R, Kecia Lilly of Concierge Care Advisers,
Senior DPA Page Ulrey, Prosecutor Dan Satterberg
and Cindi Laws of Concierge Care Advisors.
Ulrey was named “Investigator of the Year.”
Ulrey is being recognized for her unflinching dedication to detecting and prosecuting individuals who financially exploit and physically abuse or neglect the elderly when they are vulnerable.
Learn more about the PAO Elder Abuse Program and Concierge Care . . .
PAO Employees Recognized for Outstanding Work
Each year, the PAO recognizes and honors its most valuable employees with awards in various categories during a special Employee Recognition Ceremony, attended by many PAO employees and their families. This year's ceremony was held May 7, and the honorees and award winners in the following categories were:
Teri Chase, Paralegal Criminal Division
Susie Slonecker, Senior DPA Civil Division
Liah Travis, Paralegal Civil Division
Outstanding Trial Advocacy, Criminal Litigation
Senior DPA Julie Kline and DPA Steve Herschkowitz
Outstanding Civil Representation
Senior DPA Amy Eiden
Amber Bryant and Jeff Morrison, Truancy Prevention Workshop Coordinators, Administration
Sarah Childs, Intake Officer Family Support Division
Outstanding Public Service
Linda Parshotam, Legal Administrative Specialist Family Support Division
Community & Speaking Events
Dan Satterberg enjoys attending and speaking at community events.
Dan recently spoke at:
Eastside Legal Assistance Program’s Breakfast for Justice
Choices Workshop at Sylvester Middle School
Teamsters Retirees Luncheon
State Patrol’s Impaired Driving Symposium
First AME Youth and Law Forum
National Crime Victims Rights Week Training Workshop at Seattle U.
Dan attended the following recent events:
If you would like to invite Dan or someone from the Prosecuting Attorney's Office to speak to your group, please email the office at this link Prosecuting Attorney