(WSB photos by Christopher Boffoli)>
Today officially marked the start of the second week of murder-trial proceedings in the case of the deadly West Seattle shooting two years ago of Steve Bushaw – though the case hasn’t even gone to jury selection yet, and might not for a while, depending on how things proceed. Previously, two of the four original defendants – the two accused of actually shooting Bushaw along California SW between Alaska and Edmunds late Super Bowl Sunday night in 2009 – pleaded guilty to the reduced charge of second-degree murder. Danny O’Neal entered his plea eight days ago, as proceedings began; John Sylve pleaded guilty last Friday. The other two were in court today – from left, alleged mastermind Bryce Huber and alleged getaway driver Brandon Chaney:
They remain charged with first-degree murder and with conspiracy to commit murder. After a brief session this morning, King County Superior Court Judge Joan DuBuque recessed court until 1:30 this afternoon to review some of the information that had emerged; the afternoon session was even shorter, and she recessed the case until 9 tomorrow morning. While there were many twists in this morning’s open discussion involving lawyers, the prosecutor and Judge DuBuque, the most noteworthy one involved the statement given by Sylve as part of his plea agreement. It was indicated that his statement might conflict with the one that the other confessed triggerman, O’Neal, gave days earlier. And that, the prosecutor said, might change the deal to recommend the low end of the sentencing range for him. We’ll find out what’s next when court resumes tomorrow morning.