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Prosecuting Attorney's Office

Daniel T. Satterberg

King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office
King County Courthouse, Room W554
516 Third Avenue
Seattle, WA 98104-2362
(206) 296-9000


Dec. 1, 2008

Homicide DPAs On Call 24/7

The Most Dangerous Offender Project, more commonly known as "MDOP," is a team of Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorneys (DPAs) who are available 24-hours a day, seven days a week to respond to every homicide scene in King County.  The MDOP unit is led by Senior DPA Jeff Baird.

When called to a scene, the responding DPA works with homicide detectives, medical examiners, and forensic scientists in the death investigation.  The responding DPA assists in preparing search warrants and discusses with detectives and investigators the potential evidence that may enable the DPA to file criminal charges.  The responding DPA also assumes responsibility for the prosecution of the case, ideally keeping the case from investigation through final resolution.

Over the weekend of November 21-23, MDOP DPAs were called to five separate death investigations.  MDOP was first called to the scene of a suspected gang shooting at a club in Skyway.  Hours later, MDOP was called to a home in Algona when a man was found dead in the yard.  MDOP was next called to the shooting at Westfield Southcenter Mall in Tukwila, and then later to another shooting at Vito's Madison Grill on First Hill.  Finally, on Sunday, MDOP was notified of a possible homicide in Kent, where a man was found with a fatal gunshot wound to his thigh.  Out of a team of seven DPAs, five spent their weekend working with law enforcement and medical examiners on investigating these deaths.

While the overall crime rate is down in King County, the number of murder cases remains disturbingly high.  MDOP typically responds to about 60 "call outs" a year, some of which are later determined to be suicides or accidental deaths.  So far this year, MDOP has responded to 74 call outs.  Out of those 74 cases, the PAO has filed 33 murder or manslaughter charges, and another 31 cases are still under investigation.  More than 52 murder cases are currently in the office pending trial.
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Criminal Division News

Last month, the Criminal Division of the King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office (PAO) reorganized its work force to address the loss of 27 positions resulting from 2009 budget cuts.  The work of the Complex Prosecutions and Investigations Division and three former Criminal Division units has been consolidated and divided among two new units:   the Economic Crimes Unit and the Violent Crimes Unit.

The Economic Crimes Unit, chaired by Senior DPA, Mindy Young, will be responsible for the investigation and prosecution of financial crimes, including embezzlements, identity thefts, insurance frauds, money laundering, and forgery cases.   This unit will also prosecute mortgage fraud, elder abuse, and drug cases.  The Violent Crimes Unit, chaired by Senior DPA, Gary Ernsdorff, will prosecute assaults, robberies, kidnappings, animal cruelty, harassment, vehicular assault and vehicular homicide cases.  At the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent, Assistant Chief Criminal Deputy, Dan Clark, will chair a combined Violent/Economic Crimes Unit.

These changes will allow the PAO to manage resources appropriately, but preserve its ability to promote the highest level of practice in prosecuting these crimes.
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28-Year-Old Cold Case Solved

Defendant James Maynard Blair, 54, pleaded guilty to Second Degree Murder for beating and strangling to death Kirk Parker in 1980.  At the time of the crime, Des Moines police officers found the victim dead in his home, but had no clear evidence to help them identify a suspect.

In 2006, new advances in DNA technology enabled a dedicated Des Moines Police Sergeant, David Mohr, to re-open the case and identify a suspect through DNA evidence.  Advanced DNA testing that was unavailable at the time of the crime revealed that the defendant's DNA was present on many items found in the victim's home, including cigarette butts, empty beer cans, and a blanket.  The defendant, when confronted with this evidence, admitted to killing the victim.

The defendant was about to be released from prison, where he served time for a 2006 assault conviction.  Instead, he was sentenced to nearly 25 years in prison for this previously unsolved murder.  Senior DPA Craig Peterson handled the prosecution of this case.
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Two Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorneys Elected to Superior Court Bench

Senior DPAs Tim Bradshaw and Barb Mack were elected to be Superior Court judges in the November general election.   For 20 years, Tim worked in the PAO's Criminal Division, where he tried many complex Criminal and Civil cases, including the Mia Zapata murder, the Seattle Shipyard shooting cases, and the first King County case involving animal DNA evidence.

Barb worked in the PAO's Criminal and Fraud Divisions for 22 years, and prosecuted numerous domestic violence, sexual assault, and economic crimes.  Most recently, she served as the lead DPA in King County's Drug Court program.

The PAO congratulates Tim and Barb on their new positions.  They join former Senior DPA Regina Cahan as welcome additions to the Superior Court bench.
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Satterberg Appointed To Sentencing Guidelines Commission

Dan Satterberg has been appointed by Governor, Chris Gregoire, to serve on the 20-member Washington State Sentencing Guidelines Commission.  The Sentencing Guidelines Commission evaluates and monitors adult and juvenile sentencing policies and practices, recommends sentencing modifications to the Governor and the Legislature, and serves as a clearinghouse and information center on adult and juvenile sentencing.

The Sentencing Guidelines Commission derives its authority from the Sentencing Reform Act (SRA) of 1981.   Prior to the adoption of the SRA, criminal sentences imposed for adult felony convictions were indeterminate, and courts had wide discretion over whether or not to impose a prison sentence and the length of any sentence.  The Board of Prison Terms and Paroles decided when or whether to release an offender within the statutory maximum sentence period.  In 1981, King County Prosecuting Attorney Norm Maleng led the effort to establish the SRA, which enacted guidelines and procedures used by the courts to impose standard sentencing for adult felonies.  Several other states and the federal sentencing scheme were patterned after the SRA.

To learn more about Washington's sentencing laws and the history of the SRA, click on this link.
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