FOLLOWUP: Triangle street-robbery suspect was just out of prison for bank, business robberies

The man arrested after crashing a stolen car while fleeing the scene of a West Seattle street robbery remains in jail tonight. The 48-year-old suspect did not appear at his probable-cause hearing this afternoon and is being held without bail, pending potential charges on Thursday. Our first word of the robbery came via e-mail from the victim’s husband on Sunday; information from SPD revealed that the getaway car had been stolen in a carjacking on Queen Anne Saturday night, and that after the Sunday robbery at 37th and Alaska, police spotted the car across the bridge, following it into downtown, and then onto Airport Way, where it crashed and the suspect was arrested. Researching his background, we’ve learned that the suspect has a long record of robberies, going back at least 19 years; he was sentenced to a 15-year term for robberies in 1996, but was out again by 2006, when he was sentenced to a 14-year prison term after pleading guilty to robberies including a holdup at the Wells Fargo Bank in the Admiral District. We asked the Department of Corrections when he had been released – turns out he got out of prison just two weeks ago. We’ll be researching further while awaiting word of charges on Thursday.

14 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: Triangle street-robbery suspect was just out of prison for bank, business robberies"

  • Seattlite November 10, 2015 (10:23 pm)

    Unbelievable or not. He is a career criminal. What do you do with career criminals? Plus he was in possession of an illegal gun, which makes him even more dangerous, as described in the WS mugging post.

    • WSB November 10, 2015 (10:36 pm)

      One thing about the gun – in his 2006 spree, according to one of the documents I’ve downloaded and read tonight, the gun was actually one of those looks-like-a-fullfledged-gun BB pistols. I don’t know whether the “no firearms” rule for felons applies to that. I have reread the docs from today and the police report narrative I procured yesterday and there’s no mention of whether a gun was found on him or in the stolen car, but if he is indeed charged Thursday, we may get even more details. – TR

  • joel November 10, 2015 (10:29 pm)

    in 19 years he’s got 29 years of sentences yet they keep letting him out early. what is Vegas saying he gets this time – 12 years and out in 7?

  • 935 November 10, 2015 (11:01 pm)

    Sadly TR: RCW 9.41.010 …
    (9) “Firearm” means a weapon or device from which a projectile or projectiles may be fired by an explosive such as gunpowder.

    (10) “Gun” has the same meaning as firearm”…

    It seems air powered projectile accelerators are not classified the same as ‘firearms’

    Firearms are forbidden for sure, it seems the State of Washington does not (rightly so) view airguns similar

  • Candy November 11, 2015 (5:25 am)

    He may not be charged with illegal possession of a firearm, but displaying what appears to be a deadly weapon is sufficient to constitute robbery. See RCW 9A.56.200.

    Robbery in the first degree.
    (1) A person is guilty of robbery in the first degree if:

    (a) In the commission of a robbery or of immediate flight therefrom, he or she:

    (i) Is armed with a deadly weapon; or

    (ii) Displays what appears to be a firearm or other deadly weapon; or

  • wetone November 11, 2015 (7:16 am)

    So much for 3 strikes program working at deterring criminals. Falls all on Washington judicial system not following the program.

    • WSB November 11, 2015 (7:41 am)

      The law has been amended so it’s not as clear as you’d think, “three robberies, you’re out.” One analysis I have found says that a “crime spree” counts as one strike regardless of how many offenses were involved, for example. If any criminal lawyers on either side happen to read this and can explain, or at least point to the current version of the statute – help appreciated; I’m still looking. – TR

  • Candy November 11, 2015 (8:01 am)

    Attorney here. You’ll want to look at the Sentencing Reform Act (SRA). Whether a number of offenses constitute “same criminal conduct” and therefore count as a single offense usually has to do with the temporal nature of the crime(s). For example, an assault that goes on for an hour, that may include several distinct beatings over that time period, may be considered a single assault for purposes of sentencing; the crimes will run concurrently, count as a single strike and the offender score is adjusted.

  • wscommuter November 11, 2015 (8:02 am)

    TR is correct – for better or worse, the “3-Strikes” law is written such that if you commit multiple offenses and then get arrested and prosecuted on all of those, they cumulatively count as “1 strike”. The reason is that we are theoretically giving the offender two chances to go to prison and reform, but after that, on the third offense(s), we are giving them life. This person will probably be charged with his third strike now.
    @wetone … if you don’t like this, please blame the appropriate party: the people who wrote the “3-strikes” law. The “Washington judicial system” you want to disparage simply follows the law as it is written. Don’t like the law? Talk to your representatives in Olympia.

    • WSB November 11, 2015 (8:24 am)

      Thank you. By the time we follow this up with charges (or not) on Thursday, I’ll also be looking at the “time off for good behavior” calculations, explaining how, in the most recent case, a 171-month sentence in summer 2006 (14 years, 3 months) puts the person back on the streets in 9 years, 3 months (and a similar reduction in the sentence from 1996, but the online system doesn’t include court documents from that long ago so I can’t research what happened in the six-robbery case). Other questions on my list to look into … what happens when you get out of prison, especially after a relatively lengthy sentence? One-way bus ticket and “good luck,” leaving it almost a sure bet you’ll have to go back to your ways or else starve, unless you have someone to take you in, at least for a while, or are there some support services? The cases we follow through the system often involve repeat offenders, but seldom this kind of repeat offender, who’s spent most of the past 20 years in prison, so I haven’t taken a look at that before … TR

  • seaview November 11, 2015 (8:25 am)

    Where can we find out the name of the suspect? Or, was it published?

    • WSB November 11, 2015 (8:54 am)

      If he is charged on Thursday, we’ll be identifying him.

  • BLB November 11, 2015 (10:46 am)

    Bad apple.

  • RarelyEver November 11, 2015 (1:45 pm)

    WSB has it right – people who commit a crime and get sentenced to lengthy jail time have barely a chance to reintegrate into society when they get out. Employers won’t hire them, so how are they supposed to make a living?

    Look to Scandinavia for a far better model. The recidivism rate there is much, much lower, largely due to the fact that offenders are in programs while detained that help them improve their skill sets for when they get out, and employers are incentivized to hire ex-offenders. Here you are never done repaying your debt to society, sadly.

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