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Saturday, 16 April 2011

'R.I.P. Daddy': Man sentenced in Seattle killing


08:12 |

purported gang member who killed a 24-year-old Seattle man was sentenced Friday to 15 years in prison.

Pleading guilty to second-degree murder in March, Jymaika S. Hutson, admitted to killing Tyree Lee on April 28, 2007.

Lee, regarded by law enforcement as a member of a Central District street gang, was shot to death outside a friend's home. Hutson, 32, had been a member of a rival gang, though he has since insisted that he abandoned the gang after a shotgun blast left his face severely scarred.

As his brother’s son looked on in a T-shirt reading “R.I.P. Daddy,” Tyrone Lee Jr. told King County Superior Court Judge Steven Gonzalez that Hutson’s actions four years ago left his family shattered.

Tyrone Lee noted that the young men were raised in the same community and had known each other for years. His brother left behind a family and a fiancée.

“They lost someone, something that they can never get back,” he said Friday.

Given the opportunity to speak, Hutson declined to address the judge or attempt to explain his actions the day Tyree Lee was killed.

On April 28, 2007, officers were called to the 2600 block of East Alder Street following a report of shots.

Police arrived to find Lee had been shot multiple times in the back, torso and legs. He died later that evening at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

Witnesses to the shooting told police a white Chevrolet SUV had pulled up as Lee was walking to a friend's home. Hutson got out of the vehicle, drew a pistol and fired at least eight shots at Lee.

One witness told police he heard what would be some of Lee's last words.

"Hey man, I don't have a beef with you," Lee told Hutson before he was gunned down, according to the witness.

Police were able to trace the car to Gilbert Kinney, Hutson's co-defendant.

Hutson pleaded guilty on the eve of trial as prosecutors were prepared to offer the testimony of Kinney to implicate him in the shooting. Kinney, who drove Hutson to and from the shooting scene and provided the murder weapon, pleaded guilty to a reduced charge and was sentenced to home detention.

Speaking with investigators, Kinney said he followed Lee's car at Hutson's request. He said he had no idea Hutson planned to kill Lee, and admitted that Hutson used his pistol in the shooting.

Hutson -- said by law enforcement to be member of Deuce 8, a Central District street gang -- had been seen arguing with Lee at Barnett Park shortly before the shooting.

Police initially interviewed Hutson five days after the shooting. He denied any involvement in Lee's death; nearly three years passed before prosecutors were able to bring charges against him.

In the prosecution's view, the killing was revenge for an earlier attack Hutson blamed on Lee. Hutson was shot in the face with a shotgun by parties as yet unidentified.

Prosecutors were prepared to contend that a rivalry between Hutson's gang and Lee's Low Profiles – a breakaway set of Deuce 8 – played a part in the shooting, a contention disputed by Hutson's attorney.

“At the time of the shooting, Mr. Hutson was working very hard to extricate himself from ongoing violence that was part of his younger life,” defense attorney James Womack said in court documents. “This change took place shortly after he was shot in the face by a shotgun in February 2006. He had to make a choice.”

 


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