West Seattle Crime Watch: Skyelar Hailey sentenced to prison

gavel.jpgJust before the last few breaking stories happened, we had just walked out of King County Superior Court Judge Greg Canova’s courtroom downtown, after the sentencing hearing for 19-year-old West Seattle repeat offender Skyelar Hailey wrapped up. This was the sentencing for the incidents in mid-August in which Hailey and a teenage girl were arrested for stealing a teacher’s purse at West Seattle High School, then burglarizing the home of a nearby acquaintance (detailed here); earlier this month, Hailey pleaded guilty to residential burglary and theft. The prosecutor handling the case was Maurice Classen, who deals with “repeat burglar” cases, on which the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has placed a special emphasis. After hearing Classen declare, “This is an individual who has had a significant effect on a community” (while mentioning our presence in the courtroom as further evidence of that), then hearing Hailey say his criminal record is all because of a drug problem he didn’t admit till now, Judge Canova gave him the sentence the state had requested: 13 months on one count, 12 months on the other, to be served concurrently. The judge said Hailey’s lengthy record, mostly juvenile offenses since he is just 19, showed no previous evidence of a drug problem, so he dismissed the defense attorney’s request for a sentence focusing instead on drug treatment. Hailey offered no words of remorse:

I know I have a significant juvenile history, I’ve committed several crimes. I’ve never been looking at this much time – it kind of opened my eyes a bit – that I had a drug problem and was ignoring it. I don’t have the support of my parents, I don’t have a job – I’ve been on my own more or less since I was 15 – seems everything I ever got in trouble for was related to drugs – I’m hoping I can get through this and change.

The judge then asked sharply – referring to this April hearing, the last time we were in court to see Hailey being sentenced – “You didn’t think THAT was an appropriate time to raise the issue of your drug problem?” Hailey replied, “I never looked at myself as having a drug problem.” The judge noted that the report from this incident showed him as having been found with a small amount of white powder and pills, but nothing else indicating a problem or addiction. Judge Canova (a West Seattleite, by the way) pronounced sentence without further remark, aside from “Good luck, Mr. Hailey” as a deputy re-cuffed him and took him away – same thing he had said to two defendants whose unrelated sentencings we’d watched in the preceding hour while awaiting this one.

Afterward, we talked with prosecutor Classen to ask how much time Hailey will really spend in prison: Answer – about half a year. First, he has been in jail for two months since his mid-August arrest; then, Classen says, for a crime like this, one-third is taken off the sentence (which is less than some others, but more than violent crimes). So unless something changes, he will be out again by May. Classen acknowledges that doesn’t seem like enough for the “significant impact,” but Hailey did not have enough of an adult record for more.

17 Replies to "West Seattle Crime Watch: Skyelar Hailey sentenced to prison"

  • MargL October 23, 2009 (4:25 pm)

    Was there any mention of parole requirements like drug treatment classes, or other programs he’d be required to complete upon his release? Or will he be free and clear again after 6 months?
    If he admits he has a problem I’d hope someone working with him will point him in the right direction for getting help with the drug addiction that he feels is the root of all his problems rather than just kicking him out on the street again with a “Good luck!”

  • marty October 23, 2009 (4:39 pm)

    We need to move the “juvenile crime” age back to 16 years. People certainly know the difference between right and wrong by then and it would allow two less years to hide from much-deserved punishment. At least this POS is off the streets for a few months…

    WSB: Great report!

  • miws October 23, 2009 (4:40 pm)

    So, basically six months. Great. Maybe he will change, but I don’t hold out much hope.

    And, Skyelar, your drug addiction, if that is indeed the case, is not at fault. Your choice, to get involved with drugs, whether peer pressure was a factor not, was exactly that. A choice, as was your choice to commit the crimes. (BTW, I do believe addiction is real, but am very weary of the blame being put on that in these types of cases, rather than the fact of personal choice.)


    I know that life can be unfair, and it’s especially tough when it’s unfair to kids, as it was to me when I was young. But, there are many people out there that had it a hell of alot worse than you or I, and though they may have not become the type of people that overcome extreme life obstacles to go on and do great and wonderful things, (though many do), they certianly didn’t stoop to the level that you did, of stealing from, and taking away the sense of security of, some of the citizens of our area.


    I’d say I wish you the best of luck, but just can’t bring myself to. I will say though, that I wish our community the best of luck, when you get out, and that I expect you to use the next six short months to straighten your ass out, and choose to become a productive member of society.

  • JanS October 23, 2009 (4:58 pm)

    Mike…well said ! At some point personal responsibility has to kick in for this young man. It’s always sooo much easier to blame others, the lack of parenting, or this or that, or drugs. Time for reality to kick in, that now it’s his responsibility to become a productive, contributing adult, no more excuses.

  • Eddie October 23, 2009 (7:33 pm)

    “…..he will be out again by May. Classen acknowledges that doesn’t seem like enough for the “significant impact,” but Hailey did not have enough of an adult record for more.” Yet. Time will tell.

    Too bad SPD can’t send a little shockwave through his Myspace “friends” and let them know that they’ll get theirs too.

  • Chris October 23, 2009 (9:44 pm)

    um, this guy deserves some hard time.

  • KateMcA October 24, 2009 (6:36 am)

    At least he wasn’t told that jail time would just be “boring” for him. I hope these next six months will be an eye-opening, swift kick in the pants for this guy.

  • Terry October 24, 2009 (9:29 am)

    I’ll be reading about this waste of space back here in a few months

  • Danielle October 24, 2009 (12:14 pm)

    Exactly what has anyone on this forum done for our WS youth in an effort to show some compassion? Volunteer at Safe Futures Youth Center on 35th?? Contacted the Father Connection program through SWCC?? Or just sit around and complain about how “our” community is going to hell and call our youth, troubled as they may be, a “waste of space”? Well, let me suggest this, if you arent part of the solution, you are part of the problem. And it’s YOU, who is the waste of space. So when your property gets stolen or vandalized, instead of hopping on the WS blog to complain, how about figuring out how you, as a member of the “haves”, can start to level the playing field for the have-nots? Maybe then, we will ALL feel the change.

  • Brian October 24, 2009 (6:04 pm)

    Danielle… your post is a waste of space.

    This kid has gotten MORE than enough chances.

    Wish he would try to steal my property… I’d save the state some money.

  • Melissa October 24, 2009 (6:59 pm)

    Thanks, Danielle.

  • wseye October 24, 2009 (11:02 pm)

    It is possible to feel compassion for Skylar and also recognise that some prison time may be the best thing for him at this point in his life.

  • laurie October 25, 2009 (12:02 pm)

    This little sociopath is a lost cause. Danielle maybe you can open your heart and home to this little creep when he gets out of jail.

  • Danielle October 25, 2009 (3:56 pm)

    Ah…now we’re diagnosing kids too! How fortuntate that we have a resident psychologist here on WSB! Well, all I can say is that it should come as no surprise when your callus attitude(s) are met with these kids’ callus attitudes. And because of our system of taking from and not giving to, it turns out that “they” have less to lose than you do. So, keep getting got.

    Maybe one day, it’ll dawn on you that you’re helping to create a system where certain kids have opportunities and others have to be opportunists.

  • Chris October 25, 2009 (7:55 pm)

    Lets blame society ? Blame the “Have’s” for being part of an infair system ? Blame anyone but the criminals ? In my world Danielle YOU are part of the problem. How dare anyone, you included place guilt on the part of the law abiding. Where is this world heading when my neighbors harbor such a distorted view of the realities of society.

  • M. October 25, 2009 (11:08 pm)

    There is no program like that at SWCC.

  • WSB October 25, 2009 (11:12 pm)

    It was a presentation there two weeks ago.

Sorry, comment time is over.