The sentence for an11-year-old former Fort Colville School student
implicated in a murder plot at the southeast Colville school last winter has been effectively cut in half. The youngster, incarcerated
at Echo Glen, a juvenile detention facility at Snoqualmie, is not named
in this story because he is
a juvenile. He was in the Stevens County courtroom of Judge Allen Nielson
last Thursday where the decision was made, at the recommendation of Stevens County prosecutors and defense attorneys, to
significantly shorten his sentence. The youngster will now spend a total of 128 weeks in custody and will remain at Echo Glen until July or
August of 2015. He will then have three years of juvenile probation supervision back in the community,according to Stevens County Prosecuting Attorney,Tim Rasmussen.Appeal process Rasmussen said that
the juvenile, who will be released in time to return to school for his eighth grade year, was resentenced as the result of the appeal the
youngster and his counsel filed. “That appeal, in our opinion, would have been successful,” Rasmussen explained, adding that the basis for the appeal was that, among other claims,“his right to an effective
counsel had been denied by his attorney, who did not represent him competently.
“If the appeal had gone to its conclusion, he would have been given a new trial and that meant he would have been removed from treatment and sent back to Martin Hall (Medical Lake area juvenile detention facility) for about six months (during which time the youngster would have no treatment), while a new attorney was appointed for him and then his case tried or pleaded.”
Rasmussen said his office didn’t feel it was in the best interests of the child or the Colville community’s safety for treatment to be interrupted.
The county prosecutor said he is very pleased that the youngster’s treatment has been progressing very positively. This is one occasion where the juvenile process is actually working for an individual.
“He has been doing very well,” Rasmussen said of the treatment program at
Echo Glen for the 11-year-old.
“He quickly adapted to the treatment program…he has been learning new
skills and has increased his schooling from fifth grade (where he was academically when he entered treatment)to seventh-grade level work
now. He has presented no disciplinary problems…he has not been aggressive
“The juvenile’s confinement is most definitely working in a positive manner. It is very heartening to see a young man being changed for the better. This was a win-win for everyone.Better that he will continue
a treatment program that is working and that is better for the community that he will come back to.”