King County Prosecuting Attorney
||Updated: 12:40 p.m. October 8
Sentencing for Defendants Convicted in Fatal Shootings of Three Men in 2010: Sentencing will be held on October 9 for two defendants convicted of the murders of three men whose bodies were found in March 2011 at a plant nursery near Kent. One of the defendants, Alberto Avila-Cardenas, 40, was convicted by a jury in July on three counts of Murder in the First Degree with firearm enhancements for the fatal shootings of Jesus Bejar-Avila, 25, Yazmani Quezada-Ortiz, 26, and Cristian Alberto Rangel, 19. The co-defendant in the case, Jose Alfredo Velez-Fombona, 29, pled guilty to a charge of Murder in the Second Degree. The victims were last seen leaving their jobs at a Lake Union wholesale florist on December 12, 2010. King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg said the case was solved as a result of the hard work and persistence by detectives with the Lakewood Police Department and the King County Sheriff's Office. "The Lakewood Police Department put extraordinary effort into this case when it was just a missing persons report, and the Sheriff's Office was able to use that work to swiftly build a case against the defendant once the victims' bodies were found,” Satterberg said. “I also want to thank the prosecution team for all their hard work in bringing this case to trial,” he added.
Tomorrow’s sentencing is scheduled for 10 a.m. before Judge Bruce Heller in courtroom 4D at the Maleng Regional Justice Center. Avila-Cardenas faces a sentence range 75 to 95 years in prison, which includes the firearm enhancements. Velez-Fombona faces a sentence range of 10 to 18 years. The case was investigated by Detective Christopher Johnson of the King County Sheriff’s Office. The prosecution team included Senior Deputy Prosecutors Mary Barbosa and Kristin Richardson, and paralegal Sue Trujillo and victim advocate Karen Kunde.
Sentencing for Man Convicted of Raping Three Women in 2014: Sentencing will be held on October 9 for a 30-year-old man who was convicted of raping three women in 2014. A jury convicted the defendant Christopher Beck last month on two counts of Rape in the First Degree, one count of Rape in the Second Degree and one count of Robbery in the Second Degree. The defendant attacked the victims after responding to online ads. The attacks occurred during a two-week period in March 2014. “These were vulnerable victims, and the defendant chose them because he thought nobody would care, but the jury proved him wrong,” said King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg. The defendant faces a minimum sentence range of 25 to 33 years in prison up to an indeterminate maximum of life in prison. Tomorrow's sentencing is scheduled for 1 p.m. before Judge Theresa Doyle in courtroom W-842 of the King County Courthouse. The case was handled by Senior Deputy Prosecutor Hugh Barber and Deputy Prosecutor Phil Sanchez.
Charges Filed in Death of Toddler in West Seattle: A charge of Murder in the Second Degree was filed yesterday against a 20-year-old woman who is accused in the death of her boyfriend’s 17-month-old son in West Seattle on September 27. The defendant, Alicia Goemaat, is accused of fatally kicking the 17-month-old toddler. Goemaat remains in jail with bail set at $1 million. Arraignment is scheduled for October 19 at 8:30 a.m. in courtroom 1201 of the King County Courthouse.
Arraignment for Man Charged in Fatal Kent Shooting: A 37-year-old Kent man was arraigned this morning and pled not guilty to a charge of Murder in the Second Degree for the alleged fatal shooting of a 42-year-old man in Kent on September 10. The defendant, Matthew C. Chancellor, allegedly had an altercation with the victim, James Knowlton, and then chased him down a street and shot him. Chancellor, who is unable to legally possess a firearm due to his criminal history, is also charged with Unlawful Possession of a Firearm in the First Degree. Chancellor remains in jail with bail set at $500,000. A case setting hearing is scheduled for October 13 at 1 p.m. in courtroom GA of the Maleng Regional Justice Center.
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.