West Seattle Crime Watch followup: Donald Plute pleads guilty

He was about to go on trial – but instead, 23-year-old Donald Plute pleaded guilty today to charges stemming from a morning-long rampage six months ago, in which he stole a truck on Alki, then rammed it into two vehicles before ditching it in Gatewood and running from police. The first vehicle he rammed had two men inside, one of whom was the owner of the truck Plute had stolen; after that crash in Upper Alki, Plute was spotted by police in Morgan Junction, where one officer thought he had him pulled over – until Plute put the truck into reverse and crashed it into this SPD car before taking off again:

Today, he pleaded guilty to the four charges filed against him in that August case – robbery, two counts of assault, and a charge of attempting to elude. The plea-agreement documents we just downloaded say prosecutors will recommend concurrent sentences equal to a little over 10 and a half years, minus the five-plus months he’s already served. Plute’s record included seven previous felony convictions between 2005 and 2010, including burglary, theft, possession of stolen cars, and another attempt to elude; the earliest crime on the list was committed when he was 14 years old. Plute is scheduled for sentencing on March 14th.

12 Replies to "West Seattle Crime Watch followup: Donald Plute pleads guilty"

  • West Seattle Hipster February 14, 2014 (6:43 pm)

    I would like to see Donald gets the recommended sentence, I am hoping that Catherine Shaffer will not be the sentencing judge.

    • WSB February 14, 2014 (6:49 pm)

      Judge Laura Inveen is scheduled – but, the past two Fridays, when we went downtown to cover sentences (none today!), the scheduled judges’ calendars had been handed off to others, so we won’t know for sure until we get there.

  • alki resident February 14, 2014 (8:12 pm)

    Oh,let him out. He seems like such a good kid. Im sure he was just turning his life around. Im sure he’ll be out in less than half that time for good behavior.

  • ScubaFrog February 14, 2014 (9:58 pm)

    He probably got a sweet plea deal. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was out in in under a year with time served.

  • wscommuter February 14, 2014 (10:35 pm)

    The comments here reveal a lack of understanding of how our criminal sentencing statutes work. First, when it says “the prosecutors recommend concurrent sentences” … the law mandates sentences are concurrent, except for the most serious of violent offenses (murder, rape, etc.). If you don’t like that, don’t blame prosecutors or judges – the legislature wrote the law this way.

    Likewise, his sentencing range is also set by statute. The sentencing judge actually has very little leeway in what can be given. If he is facing 10+ years per the standard range, he’ll get that time.

  • JK February 15, 2014 (6:15 am)

    wscommuter, I think many of us are sick of the way sentence time is reported. It lacks basic integrity. Out here in ‘the real world’ 1 year = 1 year. For the judicial system it often seems that 10 years = plea to 5 years = out in 2 years = less time served, 1.5 years

    I’d be absolutely shocked if this guy serves 10 ACTUAL years, not judicial play-years.

  • Eric February 15, 2014 (7:05 am)

    Really? Since the prosecutor recommends that the defendant gets 10 years, he’ll get that time? Then what happened not too long ago when the prosecutor recommended that the defendant get 8 years, but the judge instead gave the defendant something like 3 years and 3 years substance abuse treatment instead? It seems just because the prosecutor recommends something doesn’t mean it will happen.

    This guy will probably get 3 years and 2 years anger management classes.

    • WSB February 15, 2014 (7:46 am)

      In this particular case, the documents note that because this was a violent crime, the defendant is not eligible for DOSA, the “drug offender sentencing alternative” that the judge used in the case to which you refer.

  • Eric February 15, 2014 (7:52 am)

    LOL, I was being facetious.

  • wscommuter February 15, 2014 (2:45 pm)

    JK – you are simply incorrect. In this state, by statute, for felonies, there is a standard range sentence for all crimes based on the “seriousness level (from 1-10)” of the crime, and the offender prior felony history. Each prior felony earns the offender a higher range of punishment. So the judge would imposes 10 years (actually, it would be “120 months” – sentences are imposed by months, not years).

    Once a person goes off to prison, there is no “parole”. A prisoner can earn “good time” by having exemplary behavior in prison and complying with requirements such as going to school there, or participating in drug treatment while in prison. However, the maximum amount of time a person can get reduced for good behavior is not more than 1/3 of the sentence. So for a 10 year sentence, this person will spend at least 6 2/3 years in prison, assuming perfect behavior. It won’t be any less.

    Eric – prosecutors recommend; judges decide. But see above – judges can only sentence within the standard range (except in extreme cases where “exceptional” circumstances allow a judge to deviate, typically upward to add even more prison time). There is no such thing as “3 years of prison and 3 years of treatment” – you are simply incorrect. These are the sort of misinformed mythology that people like to make up and bitch about … without knowing the truth.

  • Eric February 15, 2014 (4:32 pm)

    What do you mean make up and bitch about commuter? The blog about the serial burglar, the prosecutor recommendd 8 1/2 years. The judge sentenced him to 44 months, with roughly the same for probation. He would also start treatment near the end of his sentence which would be a minimum of two years for court appointed treatment for drugs or alcohol. I did not make this up just to so called bitch about. Thanks for your smuggness though.

    And even if there is a sentencing guideline, who’s to say the judge won’t give the least amount of time when sentencing him?

  • pepper February 24, 2014 (1:12 am)

    Let him out means no harm, hes not dangerous hes just mis guided.He does have some mental issues that can use some attention He is a realy great guy and the most sensitive hunast and caring friend and the most proactive and hands-on god dad, he is also my best friend of all time and is verry well loved and missed by meny. The week prior to the incident was a horrible few days for him,he had to deal with preparing for the put down of his dog (family pet Pete) and at the same time being picked on blamed, and was also assaulted for something he had no parts in. Then because of that he was alienated by some so-called friends and his family (except me) and like I said donald is verry sensitive and things like that can take a tole on you. So if you could please look past the crime and see his good hart and give him another chance please do. Perhaps counseling or mental support.I love and miss you so much donald stay strong and positive im still here for u D. PEPPER

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