King County Prosecuting Attorney
||Updated: 9:35 a.m. March 26
Hearing Rescheduled in State v. Aaron Ybarra: Yesterday’s case setting hearing has been continued to April 15 for Aaron Ybarra, 26, who is charged in connection with a June 5 shooting at Seattle Pacific University that killed one student and injured two others. Ybarra is charged with Murder in the First Degree, three counts of Attempted Murder in the First Degree and one count of Assault in the Second Degree. All of the charges include firearm allegations. The April 15 case setting hearing is scheduled for 1 p.m. at the King County Courthouse. Ybarra is being held without bail at the King County Jail.
Guilty Plea in 2013 Bellevue Murder: Defendant Aleksandr Polak pled guilty yesterday afternoon to a charge of Murder in the First Degree for the 2013 murder of his ex-wife Nataliya Vabishchevich in Bellevue. The defendant stabbed Vabishchevich to death on June 17, 2013 in her Bellevue home. Polak will be sentenced on May 1 at 1 p.m. before Judge John Chun in courtroom W-921 of the King County Courthouse. He faces a sentence range of 20 to 26 ½ years in prison. Prosecutors will recommend a sentence of 25 years in prison. The case was handled by Senior Deputy Prosecutors Jessica Berliner and Christina Miyamasu and investigated by Detective Jerry Johnson of the Bellevue Police Department.
Arraignment for Defendant Charged in Seattle Homicide: Arraignment was held this morning for Attila Richards, who is accused in the fatal stabbing of his 24-year-old girlfriend in Seattle on March 8. The defendant was arraigned and entered a not guilty plea to a charge of Murder in the Second Degree. Richards, 29, was arrested after he allegedly drove to Western State Hospital and asked to be committed. Investigators located the victim’s body inside his car. The defendant remains in the King County Jail with bail set at $2 million. A case setting hearing is scheduled for April 8 at 1 p.m. in courtroom 1201 of the King County Courthouse.
New Approach Regarding Youth who Commit Violence in the Home
Pictured at right are Stephanie Trollen,
Juvenile Section Supervisor, and
Jimmy Hung, Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney,
who are organizing the FIRS program.
The King County Prosecutor’s Office (PAO), in partnership with King County Superior Court and the King County Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention, plans to launch FIRS (Family Intervention and Restorative Services), a new juvenile diversion program geared to provide services to families who are struggling with domestic violence (DV). Unlike adult court, juvenile DV rarely involves intimate partner violence. Instead, the vast majority of cases in juvenile court involve youth acting out against their parents or siblings at a misdemeanor level. Many of these youth struggle with substance abuse and mental health disorders.
Juvenile DV cases are referred to the PAO typically after families, in a moment of crisis, call police. Although families look to the juvenile justice system for help, almost none of them want their children to end up with a criminal record. Approximately 40 percent of juvenile DV referrals result in declines because families routinely decline to assist or participate in the formal court system for this reason.
Under the current juvenile justice model, families in crisis receive services only after their child has been arrested or formally charged. The PAO plans to implement FIRS, a new program that will offer families services at the time of crisis and keep youth out of the juvenile justice system.
FIRS is modeled after Pima County, Arizona’s Domestic Violence Alternative Center, where that jurisdiction has seen its juvenile DV bookings plummet from over 1,000 youth annually to just 82 in 2012.
Learn more . . .
PAO's Elder and Vulnerable Adult Abuse Unit Featured on King County TV
In response to the rapidly increasing elderly population in King County, and to increases in crimes against vulnerable adults, the PAO has a unit trained to address the special circumstances inherent in these cases. The Elder Abuse team, which is staffed by Senior DPAs Page Ulrey and Amanda Froh, and paralegal Tara Longen, addresses the abuse of vulnerable adults, a population that includes disabled adults as well as the elderly.
The goals are three-fold: to prosecute cases of neglect, financial exploitation and sexual assault of the elderly and disabled; to work collaboratively with police, social service agencies, and medical professionals to improve the referral, investigation, and, ultimately, prosecution of cases of abuse and neglect of vulnerable adults; and, to provide training to first responders so they can better recognize and react to such cases.
King County TV recently highlighted the work of the Elder Abuse Unit.
New Legislation to Help Inmates Reentering Society
Dan Satterberg is working with Rep. Brady Walkinshaw (D-43rd) and Columbia Legal Services on ESHB 1553, the “CROP” bill. CROP stands for “Certificate of Restoration of Opportunity,” and creates a process whereby someone who has been convicted of a crime and who has complied with all parts of the sentence can petition the court for a certificate that proves they have paid their debt to society. Once a person has obtained a CROP, they can apply for one of over 90 professional occupational licenses that they would otherwise be barred from seeking due to their conviction. Learn more . . .
The Marshall Project Features Case of Local Man Exonerated in Robbery
The Marshall Project, a journalism website devoted to examining criminal justice issues, recently asked Chief Criminal Deputy Mark Larson to write about an exoneration of a King County man convicted in a 2004 home invasion robbery. Larson, who reviews all innocence claims for the PAO, provided the following thoughtful account of the case of Brandon Olebar, and that the duty of a prosecutor is not just to win cases, but to seek justice.
Community & Speaking Events
Dan Satterberg enjoys attending and speaking at community events.
Dan recently spoke at the following:
- Choices Presentation at Sylvester Middle School
- Stolen Youth Town Hall
- Emerald City Rotary
- Kennedy High School
- Seattle U Law School, Future Prosecutors for Social Justice
- APIChaya Candlelight Vigil for Victims of 1995 Courthouse Shooting
- 5th Annual Public Defense Conference
- TedX Conference at the Women’s Correctional Center in Purdy
If you would like to invite Dan or someone from the Prosecuting Attorney's Office to speak to your organization, please email the office at this link Prosecuting Attorney.
Dan Satterberg was invited to speak at the TedX conference held in March at the Women’s Correctional Center in Purdy. A number of the incarcerated women gave powerful speeches about insights in their lives. The speeches will be available on the internet soon, and linked in the next edition of the Prosecutor’s Post.