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Process Guidelines

Purpose: The KCPAO is committed to the fair and expeditious resolution of every criminal case.  Our early plea practice is based on our belief that many cases can be fairly resolved early in the life of a case - and that an early plea is a significant mitigating factor in the negotiation process.

Hours of Negotiation: Most units in the criminal division have a designated prosecutor devoted to early plea negotiations.  The hours of negotiations and other information for each early plea negotiator are attached. Defense counsel are encouraged to meet with early plea deputies as soon as practicable.  Our early plea deputies strive to make themselves available to all defense attorneys, including those in trial, and will make appointments outside of regular drop-in hours to accommodate attorneys who are in trial or otherwise need to meet at another time.

Discovery: The KCPAO will make its best effort to provide all discovery for the defense that is available at the time of filing or that becomes available thereafter.  If the defendant requests a copy of redacted discovery, the early plea negotiator will discontinue negotiations and will have the case assigned to a trial deputy.  We are unable to provide redacted discovery with our limited early plea staff.

Defense Investigation:  If the defense intends to conduct additional investigation beyond reviewing the discovery (for example, contacting the State's witnesses), and also wishes to keep an early plea offer open, counsel should review the attached summary of early plea practices for each unit.  If the defense attorney is still unsure about whether investigation will impact negotiations, the attorney should contact the assigned early plea negotiator.

Questions: The KCPAO is committed to the continued success of our early plea process.  We encourage defense attorneys with comments, questions, concerns or suggestions about any aspect of our early plea practice to contact the unit chair or the Assistant Chiefs of the Criminal Division.

Seattle: Erin Ehlert at 206-477-1972 or Erin.Ehlert@kingcounty.gov
MRJC: Dan Clark at 206-477-1174 or Daniel.Clark@kingcounty.gov

For pre-assigned cases, contact the assigned prosecutor directly to schedule an appointment for negotiations or pretrial discussions.

Seattle Early Plea Negotiation Process and Hours

Negotiator: Chris Bell (206-477-1856) or Christopher.Bell@kingcounty.gov

Contact David Martin (206-477-1930) or David.Martin@kingcounty.gov if Chris is unavailable.

Hours:

Mondays 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Wednesdays 1:30 p.m.-4:00 p.m. or by appointment;
Unavailable for appointments during DV Calendars (Tuesdays and Thursdays 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., and Tuesday afternoons)

Other Information:

  • Will negotiate by email.

  • Negotiations will continue throughout the pendency of a case. However, if the defense requests discovery beyond what is normally expected during the early plea negotiation period (such as victim/witness interviews, redacted discovery, records that are not in the possession of the State, lab testing, etc.), then the case must be assigned to a trial deputy and any outstanding early plea offer is withdrawn.

Negotiator: Corinn Bohn (206-477-1917) or Corinn.Bohn@kingcounty.gov

Contact Lisa Johnson (206-477-1931) or Lisa.Johnson@kingcounty.gov if Corinn is unavailable.

Hours:

Mondays 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Wednesdays 1:30 p.m. -4:00 p.m.
or by appointment

Other Information:

  • Will negotiate by email.

  • Negotiations will continue throughout the pendency of a case. However, if defense requests discovery above what is expected during the early plea negotiation period (e.g. victim/witness interviews, CPS/counseling records that are not in our possession, lab testing that we would not do unless case goes to trial, etc.), the case will be assigned to a trial deputy, and any outstanding early plea offer is withdrawn.

Aggravated Murder, Murder, Manslaughter, Assault 1 and 2, Robbery, Kidnapping, Unlawful Imprisonment, Burglary 1, Arson/Reckless Burning, Felony Traffic (including Vehicular Homicide, Vehicular Assault, Hit and Run, Felony DUI)

General cases (excluding homicides and felony traffic):

Negotiators: Cases are assigned to the negotiators alphabetically by offender's last name. If there are co-defendants, use the last name of the first co-defendant:

A - J: Jennifer Petersen (206-477-1934) or Jennifer.Petersen@kingcounty.gov
K - Z: William Doyle (206-477-1924) or William.Doyle@kingcounty.gov

In the event neither negotiator is available, defense may contact Brian McDonald at (206-477-1866) or Brian.McDonald@kingcounty.gov.

Hours:

Mondays through Thursdays 9:00 a.m. -11:00 a.m.
or by appointment

Other Information:

  • Will negotiate by email.

  • Negotiations will continue throughout the pendency of the case, but the defense should expect that the State’s best offer will be made at the early plea stage. If the defense requests discovery beyond what is normally expected during the early plea negotiation period (such as victim/witness interviews, redacted discovery, records that are not in the possession of the State, lab testing, etc.), then the case must be assigned to a trial deputy and any outstanding early plea offer is withdrawn.

  • Early plea offers will not be kept open for an extended period of time. Further, the State reserves the right to revoke an early plea offer in other circumstances, such as new information or evidence, the defendant’s commission of new crimes, a failure to appear, violations of conditions of release, any evidence of inappropriate communication/contact with victims or witnesses, etc.

Negotiator: Contact the assigned trial deputy.

(Veh. Hom., Veh. Assault, Felony Hit and Run with a death, Felony DUI):

Negotiator: Amy Freedheim (206-477-1921) or Amy.Freedheim@kingcounty.gov

Hours: By appointment only; at the MRJC on Wednesdays

Other Information:

  • Will negotiate by e-mail. In person negotiations encouraged for initial discussions of any case. Plea forms must be turned in prior to the plea hearing.

  • Most felony traffic cases will be assigned to Amy Freedheim for trial.

  • See general Violent Crimes Unit early plea negotiation practices noted above.

Animal Cruelty, Assault 3, Attempt to Elude, Bail Jumping, Burglary, Custodial Assault, Escape, Felony Harassment, Intimidating or Tampering with a Witness or Public Servant, Introducing Contraband, Malicious Mischief, Stalking, Theft 1 (taking from person), Theft or Possession of a Stolen Firearm, Threats to Bomb, Unlawful Imprisonment, UPFA, VUCSA, Car Theft Initiative ("CTI") and Repeat Burglar Initiative ("RBI").

Negotiators: Cases are assigned to the negotiators alphabetically by offender's last name. If there are co-defendants, use the last name of the first co-defendant:

A - O: Phil Sanchez (206-477-1850) Philip.Sanchez@kingcounty.gov

P - Z: Alice Degan (206-477-6521) Alice.Degan@kingcounty.gov

Hours:

Monday - Thursday 9:00 a.m. -11:00 a.m.
or by appointment

Other Information:

  • Will negotiate by email.

  • Negotiations will continue throughout the pendency of the case, but the defense should expect that the State’s best offer will be made at the early plea stage. If the defense requests discovery beyond what is normally expected during the early plea negotiation period (such as request to arrange victim/witness interviews or motion for such interviews, redacted discovery, records that are not in the possession of the State, lab testing, etc.), then the case must be assigned to a trial deputy and any outstanding early plea offer is withdrawn.

  • Early plea offers will not be kept open for an extended period of time. Further, the State reserves the right to revoke an early plea offer in other circumstances, such as new information or evidence, the defendant’s commission of new crimes, a failure to appear, violations of conditions of release, any evidence of inappropriate communication/contact with victims or witnesses, etc. The State will strive to provide predictability and notice to the defense of any revocation.

Brandy Gevers (206-477-1947) or Brandy.Gevers@kingcounty.gov

Hours:

Monday, Wednesday and Thursday 9:00 a.m. -11:00 a.m. unless in trial.

Other Information:

  • Will negotiate by email.

  • Negotiations will continue throughout the pendency of the case, but the defense should expect that the State’s best offer will be made at the early plea stage.  If the defense requests discovery beyond what is normally expected during the early plea negotiation period (such as request to arrange victim/witness interviews or motion for such interviews, redacted discovery, records that are not in the possession of the State, lab testing, etc.), then the case must be assigned to a trial deputy and any outstanding early plea offer is withdrawn.

  • Early plea offers will not be kept open for an extended period of time.  Further, the State reserves the right to revoke an early plea offer in other circumstances, such as new information or evidence, the defendant’s commission of new crimes, a failure to appear, violations of conditions of release, any evidence of inappropriate communication/contact with victims or witnesses, etc.  The State will strive to provide predictability and notice to the defense of any revocation.

Alex Voorhees (206-477-1908) or Alexandra.Voorhees@kingcounty.gov

Hours:

Maggie Nave and Grace Ritter:
Monday through Thursday 9:00 a.m. -11:00 a.m.;
or by appointment.

Brandy Gevers: Monday, Wednesday and Thursday 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. - unless in trial

In the event the negotiator is not available, defense may contact
Amy Montgomery (206-477-1881) or Amy.Montgomery@kingcounty.gov,  or
Mary Barbosa (206-477-1962) or Mary.Barbosa@kingcounty.gov.

Other Information:

  • Will negotiate by email.

  • Negotiations will continue throughout the pendency of the case, but the defense should expect that the State’s best offer will be made at the early plea stage. If the defense requests discovery beyond what is normally expected during the early plea negotiations period (such as victim/witness interviews, redacted discovery, records that are not in the possession of the State, lab testing, etc.), then the case must be assigned to a trial deputy and any outstanding early plea offer is withdrawn.

  • Early plea offers will not be kept open for an extended period of time.  Further, the State reserves the right to revoke an early plea offer in other  circumstances, such as new information or evidence, the defendant’s commission of new crimes, a failure to appear, violations of conditions of release, any evidence of inappropriate communication/contact with victims or witnesses, etc.

  • RBI does not negotiate all burglary cases, only cases involving defendants who have been identified as prolific offenders.  A prolific offender is any defendant who has been recognized by a policing agency or the KCPAO as having a disproportionate effect on crime rates in the region.  Most prolific offenders will have several prior, current, or uncharged burglary cases.

Forgery, ID Theft, Theft 1 and 2, PSP 1 and 2, Trafficking 1 and 3, UIBC, FTR/Theft of Rental Prop., Promoting Prostitution 2, Money Laundering, Gambling, Insurance Fraud, Mortgage Fraud, Voter Fraud, Cheating, Complex Financial Crimes, Elder Abuse

Property Offenses

Negotiator: Alice Degen (206-477-6521) or email: Alice Degan

Contact Phil Sanchez (206-477-1850) email Phil Sanchez; or Melinda Young (206-477-1229) or email Melinda Young if Alice is unavailable.

Hours:

Monday - Thursday 9:00 a.m. -11:00 a.m.
or by appointment

Other Information:

  • Will negotiate by email.

  • Negotiations will continue throughout the pendency of the case, but the defense should expect that the State’s best offer will be made at the early plea stage. If the defense requests discovery beyond what is normally expected during the early plea negotiation period (such as request to arrange victim/witness interviews or motion for such interviews, redacted discovery, records that are not in the possession of the State, lab testing, etc.), then the case must be assigned to a trial deputy and any outstanding early plea offer is withdrawn.

  • Early plea offers will not be kept open for an extended period of time. Further, the State reserves the right to revoke an early plea offer in other circumstances, such as new information or evidence, the defendant’s commission of new crimes, a failure to appear, violations of conditions of release, any evidence of inappropriate communication/contact with victims or witnesses, etc. The State will strive to provide predictability and notice to the defense of any revocation.

Negotiators:

Page Ulrey (206-477-1943) or Page.Ulrey@kingcounty.gov
Amanda Froh (206-477-1872) or Amanda.Froh@kingcounty.gov

Hours: By appointment

Other Information:

  • No negotiations by email unless a case has been discussed in person first, but defense counsel may email any information the attorney would like considered prior to negotiations.

  • Deadline for offer will be specified when offer is extended. Offer will be withdrawn when case is set for trial or victim interview is conducted unless otherwise specified.

  • The State reserves the right to revoke an early plea offer in other circumstances (such as a new crime is committed, new charge are filed, additional criminal history is discovered, the defendant fails to appear for court etc.), although it strives to provide predictability and notice to the defense of any revocation.

Negotiators:

Jennifer Atchison (206-477-1929) or Jennifer.Atchison@kingcounty.gov
Hugo Torres (206-477-1894) or Hugo.Torres@kingcounty.gov

Hours: By appointment

Other Information:

  • Email negotiations are permitted, but in person negotiations are preferred and are more effective.

  • Negotiations are to take place only upon defense fully reviewing discovery. The assigned prosecutor will be available to identify the critical documents and witness statements. Deadline for offer will be specified when offer is made. Plea offers made early in process will always expire if the defendant sets matter for trial.

  • The State reserves the right to revoke an early plea offer in other circumstances (such as a new crime is committed, new charge are filed, additional criminal history is discovered, the defendant fails to appear for court etc.), although it strives to provide predictability and notice to the defense of any revocation.

Negotiator: Grace Ritter (206-477-6969) or Grace.Ritter@kingcounty.gov
Contact Melinda Young at (206-477-1229) or MelindaYoung@kingcounty.gov if Grace is unavailable.

Hours: By appointment

Other Information:

  • Email negotiations are permitted, but in person negotiations are preferred and are more effective. For the MRJC, email negotiations are preferred.

  • Deadline for offer will be specified when offer is made. Offers always expire if defendant sets the matter for trial.

  • The State reserves the right to revoke an early plea offer in other circumstances (such as a new crime is committed, new charge are filed, additional criminal history is discovered, the defendant fails to appear for court etc.), although it strives to provide predictability and notice to the defense of any revocation.

Negotiator: Shaya Calvo (206-477-1170) or Shaya.Calvo@kingcounty.gov

Contact Melinda Young at (206-477-1229) or Melinda.Young@kingcounty.gov if Shaya is unavailable.

Hours:

SEATTLE: by appointment
MRJC: Negotiations by phone or email preferred

Other information:

  • Email negotiations are permitted, but in person negotiations are preferred and more effective. For the MRJC, email negotiations are preferred, as negotiator is only at the MRJC on Wednesdays.

  • Deadline for offer will be specified when offer is made. Offers always expire if defendant sets the matter for trial.

  • The State reserves the right to revoke an early plea offer in other circumstances (such as a new crime is committed, new charge are filed, additional criminal history is discovered, the defendant fails to appear for court etc.), although it strives to provide predictability and notice to the defense of any revocation.

MRJC Early Plea Negotiation Process and Hours

Negotiator: Celia Lee (206-477-2452) or Celia.Lee@kingcounty.gov

Contact Ben Santos (206-477-1898) or Ben.Santos@kingcounty.gov if Leah is unavailable.

Hours:

Wednesdays and Thursdays, 8:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
or by appointment on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday
First discussion needs to be in-person, after that, email is permitted.

Unavailable for appointments during DV Calendars (Tuesdays 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. and Thursdays 1:00 p.m.- 4:00 p.m.)

Other Information:

  • In person negotiations required for initial discussions of any case; follow-up clarifications can be done via email. Plea forms must be turned in prior to the plea hearing.

  • Negotiations will continue throughout the pendency of a case. However, the case will be transferred to a trial DPA if significant additional investigation is necessary or witness interviews are requested. Once assigned to a trial deputy, any early plea offer expires.

Negotiator: Kathy Van Olst (206-477-1892) or Kathy.VanOlst@kingcounty.gov

Contact Nicole Weston (206-477-1219) or Nicole.Weston@kingcounty.gov, if Kathy is unavailable.

Hours:

Tuesdays 8:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Thursdays 8:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
or by appointment

Other Information:

  • Will negotiate by email.

  • Negotiations will continue throughout the pendency of a case. However, if defense requests discovery above what is expected during the early plea negotiations period (e.g. victim/witness interviews, CPS/counseling records that are not in our possession, lab testing that we would not do unless case goes to trial, etc) then the case will be assigned to a trial deputy, and any outstanding early plea offer is withdrawn.

Negotiators:

Tod Bergstrom (206-477-1081) or Tod.Bergstrom@kingcounty.gov
Gretchen Holmgren (206-477-2109) or Gretchen.Holmgren@kingcounty.gov

Attorneys are welcome to approach either negotiator based upon availability, but once negotiations begin with a negotiator they generally remain with that negotiator through resolution.

Hours: Gretchen Holmgren and Tod Bergstrom: Mondays through Wednesdays 8:45 a.m. -12:00 p.m.

Tod Bergstrom only: after case setting (approximately 3:00 p.m.- 4:30 p.m.); Thursdays 10:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m.; or by appointment

Other Information:

  • First negotiation must occur in person, email thereafter for minor adjustments to the recommendation.

  • Case transfers to a trial deputy upon request for interviews, OR, upon request for redacted discovery OR after case is set for trial.

  • Generally, investigation by the defense, including witness interviews, does not revoke an early plea offer, with the exception of the following: witness is a confidential informant, or a sensitive victim/witness is involved. The State reserves the right to revoke an early plea offer in other circumstances (such as a new crime is committed, additional criminal history is discovered, failures to appear, or violations of CCAP, etc.), although it strives to provide predictability and notice to the defense of any revocation.

Negotiators: Alice Degen (206-477-6521) or Alice.Degen@kingcounty.gov

Contact Doug Young at (206-477-6182) or Doug.Young@kingcounty.gov, if Alice is unavailable.

Hours:

By appointment during the following times:
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday 8:45 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Thursday 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Other Information:

  • First negotiation must occur in person, email thereafter for minor adjustments to the recommendation.

  • Case transfers to a trial deputy upon request for interviews, OR, upon request for redacted discovery OR after case is set for trial.

  • Generally, investigation by the defense, including witness interviews, does not revoke an early plea offer, with the exception of the following: witness is a confidential informant, or a sensitive victim/witness is involved. The State reserves the right to revoke an early plea offer in other circumstances (such as a new crime is committed, additional criminal history is discovered, failures to appear, or violations of CCAP, etc.), although it strives to provide predictability and notice to the defense of any revocation.

(Veh. Hom., Veh. Assault, Felony Hit and Run with a death, Felony DUI):

Negotiator: Amy Freedheim (206-477-1921) or Amy.Freedheim@kingcounty.gov

Hours: By appointment only; at the MRJC on Wednesdays

Other Information:

  • Will negotiate by e-mail. In person negotiations encouraged for initial discussions of any case. Plea forms must be turned in prior to the plea hearing.

  • Most felony traffic cases will be assigned to Amy Freedheim for trial.

  • See general Violent Crimes Unit early plea negotiation practices noted above.

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