(Memorial in Roxhill Park paying tribute to murder victim Bernard Martin, September 2010)
The 22-year-old man jailed for beating another man to death in Roxhill Park last September has pleaded guilty. We discovered this on a routine check of court records this weekend. Chatri Thip was charged with killing 40-year-old Bernard Martin by jumping onto him and smashing a shopping cart against him. This past week in King County Superior Court, Thip pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, the original charge against him. His written statement blames an “aggression-laden environment” at the park the night it happened, starting, he claimed, after a group upset he had gotten his girlfriend pregnant – including her half-brothers – attacked him. The murder victim was not part of that attack, Thip wrote. The original charging documents had said Thip had six beers that night – stolen from the nearby Safeway – and told police he experiences rage when he drinks, and lashed out when Martin came up to him in the park and asked for a beer. Court documents indicate prosecutors will recommend the lower end of the standard sentencing range, 11 years and 2 months in prison (the high end is just under 20 years). Thip is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Susan Craighead at 1 pm September 23rd.
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