Last night’s Westwood Village standoff began just as we were starting to write this story about the sentencing hearing Friday for someoone involved in another one there almost one year ago. So we’re reporting this a day later than planned.
What happened in February 2021 was a different type of standoff: It started with two burglars breaking into shops in the heart of the center. Police arrived and arrested one of them relatively quickly; the other one was considered possibly armed, so the SWAT team was called, and a three-hour standoff ensued, ending with the second arrest. Back in September, we reported on the plea bargain of one of the burglars, Jerry Plute Jr., and noted that one was in the works for the other, Rafael Meyers.
On Friday, Meyers was sentenced for a plea bargain that included two other burglaries in which he’d been charged, May 2020 at the Peel & Press restaurant in Morgan Junction, and August 2019 at a business in Auburn. As part of the agreement, a fourth charge, for a September 2020 burglary at a KFC in Shoreline, was dismissed. For all three of the burglaries to which he pleaded guilty, Meyers got an alternative sentence from King County Superior Court Judge Josephine Wiggs-Martin, as recommended by prosecutors and defense – residential drug treatment for up to six months, as part of DOSA (Drug Offender Sentencing Alternative). He’ll also be on two years of probation (community custody) provided he stays out of trouble. His lawyer’s report to the judge said that Meyers, who is 35, has “struggled with an opioid addiction for many years (and) has recently come to terms with his need for treatment after a long period of resistance to acknowledging the depth of his chemical dependency.” His treatment was to begin immediately, with a progress hearing set in April. (Plute’s sentence, as ordered back in September, was a year in jail, suspended providing he stays out of trouble.)